(WMC) - After an altercation months ago with a security guard about bus fare, a MATA passenger has died.
People who knew James Gray say he was a complicated man with demons, but an overall very kind man.
"I believe that he's a child of God and he's probably with God today is my belief," said Nathan Hill.
Hill met his late friend about 10 years ago when Gray moved to Memphis from California looking for work; work he never found.
"He was a very kind individual, even though his exterior might be rough," said Hill.
According to Hill, Gray struggled with demons, had a problem with alcohol and was homeless off and on. For the past year, Gray lived with Hill. Despite Gray's problems, he volunteered at Hill's Cooperative Computer Ministry at the Memphis Leadership Foundation.
"Helping me not only fix computers, but move computers around," said Hill.
Hill remembers the day a contract guard for the Memphis Area Transit Authority reportedly pushed Gray off the bus in a dispute over a fare. The day had not gone well for Gray. He was supposed to be a poll worker for a local politician, but he argued with her.
"She didn't like being confronted, and so she asked him to leave," says Hill.
According to Hill, Gray had been drinking May 6, the day he got on the bus.
After he was allegedly pushed onto the pavement, Gray hit his head on the pavement. After spending time at the Regional Medical Center he was transferred to the Quality Care Center nursing home.
Hill says Gray was never able to communicate after he hit his head.
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