Richard Pierce Jr., guitarist for the Fort Lauderdale-based Southern rock band Rambler, was the victim of a senseless murder over the weekend; shot several times by a Haitian immigrant just four days shy of his 58th birthday.
A well-known, hard-working husband and father, Pierce was driving for Uber to make ends meet when he was approached by Stevens Jean, 29, who shot him several times and fled, according to the Fort Lauderdale Police Department.
Shortly after, Fort Lauderdale police arrested Jean as a result of a description provided by witnesses on the scene. Jean was charged with pre-meditated, first-degree murder.
The shooting occurred around 2:45 a.m. in the 400 block of North Andrews Avenue police said. Pierce was transported to Broward Health Medical Center, where he died.
Police are still investigating the homicide. Investigators urge anyone with information to call Detective Jason Wood at 954-828-5344.
People who knew Pierce and loved his music were shocked and angered by the murder, and some have taken to the killer’s Facebook page to express their rage. One man, a Ft. Lauderdale bus driver, recognized Jean, recalling that he often rode the bus, and when he did, he tried to get out of paying and “always caused trouble.”
“I am so tired of hearing stories like this,” said the city bus driver, who asked not to be identified by name because of the nature of his job. “You ought to see what I see on a daily basis during the course of a day on my job. It is horrendous. I have been transformed into being nothing more than a custodian of criminals, crazies, drug addict, and con artists. Most of these people are blacks who have come here from the islands. (Jean was born in Haiti and arrived sometime after 1997 and before 2005. He attended high school in Ft. Lauderdale, according to his Facebook profile.) I never see them work and they are always constantly going to the swap shop or some other flea market to pull some scam. Two days after they get off the boat, they are on my bus scamming a ride and asking me how to get to the IRS and Social Security office.”
Pierce began his career in the early 1990s as a guitarist for South Florida rock bands The Reign and Mind Mural. His friend Brian Warner, another aspiring Broward rocker, would soon find national fame under his alias Marilyn Manson.
Pierce brought his son Robert to band rehearsals and the boy, then 4, became friendly with the guys in the then-named Marilyn Manson & the Spooky Kids, according to a report in the Miami Herald.
Manson called Robert “Little Man” and featured the child’s vocals on Marilyn Manson’s major label track “My Monkey” and he was seen in the “Lunchbox” video.
Today, the younger Pierce is a father himself who lives in Texas and works in construction. “He liked to video call with my son and play with him over the phone,” Robert Pierce, 29, said. “He was amazing. How many people he knew. And how well involved he was with music and the whole industry. It was inspiring to see how he was able to fulfill dreams.”
Glenn Richards, then a DJ with former rock station WSHE, remembers the father-son-Manson team. “He struck me as a very passionate music fan and devoted dad. The South Florida music scene needs all the positive people it can get and he was definitely one of the good guys.”
Marilyn Manson, posting on Instagram, said, “Another sad loss of a great man. You will always be in my heart brother.”
“Rich was a good man,” said Chrystal Hartigan, his former mother-in-law. “He loved his children and grandchildren very much and he was one helluva guitar player. Music was his life and he was blessed with performing with Rambler and touring the country. He had fans all over the world and will be missed by so many.”
Pierce’s survivors also include his son Joshua, grandson Jackson, parents Richard Sr. and Janice Pierce, and siblings Edward, Denise and Cindy.
A memorial hosted by friends, family and members of Rambler will be held at 3 p.m. Sept. 3 at O’Malley’s Sports Bar, 1388 N. State Rd. 7, Margate.
A benefit concert, featuring Deadstar Assembly and Rambler, will be Sept. 24 at the Culture Room, 3045 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale. There will be raffles with guitars and the money donated at the show will be going to his family, said Deadstar Assembly bassist The Dro. Doors open at 7 p.m.
A GoFundMe page, which was created to help with funeral expenses reached its goal of $5,000 in just three days.
“Normally, we don’t post GoFundMe’s,” wrote Manson on his Facebook fan page. “However, there has been an unexpected and tragic death of a longtime friend of Marilyn Manson. Rich Pierce, father of Robert “SpookyKid” Pierce (from MM’s POAAF album), was murdered in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Robert has set up a GoFundMe to help with funeral arrangements. We offer our condolences to Rich’s family.”