A triumphant St. Lucian soccer player whose winning goal put his team in the final of a tournament for Caribbean teams has been shot and killed in a tragic end to an evening out celebrating.
Isidore Phillip Tisson scored in his team's 1-0 win Sunday over St. Kitts in New York City, his coach, Mitchel Daniel, said Monday.
Tisson "had an awesome presence on the field and was a very gentle person," Daniel said. "He was addicted to soccer."
The shooting occurred early Monday in Brooklyn, where Tisson had spent the night celebrating with friends and family. At about 4:30 a.m., he was a passenger with four women in a car that stopped for him to buy water and fruit from a shop.
When the 27-year-old Tisson returned and got into the back seat, a gunman came up, wordlessly pointed a weapon through the window and shot him in the head at point-blank range.
The women fled in the car and flagged down a police cruiser, which escorted them to a nearby hospital, where Tisson was pronounced dead. A woman seated next to Tisson at the time of the shooting was hospitalized in stable condition with a graze wound on the shoulder caused by the bullet.
A .45-caliber shell casing was recovered from the car. Police had no motive, and there were no arrests.
Tisson was a substitute defender for his country's national team when it failed to qualify for the 2010 World Cup. He had been in New York the past several weeks - his first trip to the city - playing for a St. Lucia club team in the Digicel Caribbean Cup, a tournament sponsored by cell phone operator Digicel and played at a Brooklyn high school.
With the win over St. Kitts, St. Lucia advanced to the final on Sept. 5 against Jamaica, Daniel said.
"We'll be playing for Phillip," the coach said. "That's what he would have wanted."