Pittsford family mourns the loss of beloved Ryan Realbuto in D.C. shooting
by Daniel Finkelstein
Janet Realbuto, the mother of the man killed in Washington, D.C. remembered her son on Saturday. (Photo provided by the Realbuto family)
Pittsford, N.Y. (WHAM) — Janet Realbuto, the mother of the man killed in Washington, D.C. remembered her son on Saturday.
Members of the Realbuto family are heartbroken and remember the life of their son and brother Ryan, who was shot and killed just after 10 p.m. Thursday.
“This shatters our family,” said Ryan’s mother, Janet Realbuto. “It shatters a community. He was all about his family, and he looked up to his older brothers, and they looked out for him. He never had the opportunity to finish it out never had the opportunity that other people 23 years old get to have in their life was all robbed and stripped of him. I gain some peace, knowing that Ryan was happy.”
Ryan’s mother said he was there working at a high school, volunteering with Cap Corps, a Franciscan Volunteer Group.
She remembered her son, a 2023 graduate of St. Bonaventure University, as a kind and loving young man of strong faith, who was passionate about giving back. She said she wants people to see the pain the loss of her son has brought.
“We couldn’t even say goodbye because he was a homicide victim in the corner and needed his body right away,” said Realbuto. “People have got to start focusing more on humanity and touching and reaching out to other people and doing good in the world instead of just picking up a gun in one second ending everything, shattering everything. One split second that’s all it takes.”
Realbuto said the support her family has received from the community has been “unbelievable”.
Neighbors stopped by to drop off food and shovel snow. Those who knew Ryan, reached out to his family to share their memories.
“It’s been comforting because nothing will bring my son back,” said Realbuto. “All I want is to hug him.”
In a statement, Tom Missel, chief communication officer at St. Bonaventure University said in part: “We were devastated to learn of Ryan’s death. Ryan embodied what it means to be a Bonaventure student, always embracing our values of compassion and integrity.”
A candlelight vigil for Ryan will be held at the St. Bonaventure campus next week.
Pittsford Interact Clubs, of which Ryan was an active member, said “Ryan Realbuto was a very active member of the Pittsford Mendon Interact Club throughout his four years in high school. He served on the club’s leadership team and logged more hours of service than any of its members during both his sophomore and junior years. Ryan truly did have a caring heart and helping hands. He had a special concern for young people with disabilities and assisted at many Special Olympics events including the State Winter Games in Rochester. In recognition of his service, he was asked to represent his club at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Golisano Training Center at Nazareth University in June 2018.”
Metropolitan Police say the investigation is ongoing and there are no suspects in custody.
Realbuto’s family has set up a GoFundMe to help cover funeral expenses.