‘He was a hero,’ wife of Tuscaloosa homicide victim assaulted on University Blvd says

Emily showed us pictures of David and his son, Luke. We're working to upload more pictures of David with his friends and family that she shared with us.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The wife of 27-year-old David Milligan, who died Sunday after he was attacked walking down University Blvd to find his friend, is speaking out. Emily Milligan tells CBS 42 her husband is undoubtedly “a hero.”

She says she and her two kids packed up and headed to the beach Friday to visit family, but David, a National Guardsman who Emily says was always willing to serve his country, stayed behind.

“David never goes out,” Emily said. “He is a hard working person. I had actually left to go to the beach to visit family, and he stayed back because he had to work Friday night and he didn’t want to miss work because of Luke’s birthday party–he said wanted a good check.

Related |27-year-old man fatally assaulted in Tuscaloosa early Sunday morning walking along University Blvd

Emily told CBS 42 she encouraged David to go out while she and the kids were out of town.

“I said, well while we’re gone, go do something, whatever and so, they went somewhere and ate I believe, then I don’t know if they went to a bar, which, he never goes to bars, he’s not a drinker–this is the first time he’s been to a bar in, I don’t know how long.”

Emily says she thinks David and his friend got separated after they left the bar, and that his friend got in an altercation with the suspects.

“These men in this car had pulled up and started an altercation with his friend, and David just walked around the corner and they just…they just turned on him. He didn’t even see it coming,” she said. “They assaulted him, and after he was laying on the ground, not breathing, they just jumped in the car and left. They left him there.”

“His friend tried to get him back, but he couldn’t, and they called the ambulance and he was actually already dead when they got there, but they brought him back but there was too much damage,” Emily described.

Emily says the neurosurgeon told her the bleeding on David’s brain was unlike anything he’d ever seen. She told us he was attacked on his head, face and neck, and that she saw a black eye, a mark across his face like he had been hit by an object, and marks on his neck. She told us they think he passed out when he was attacked and hit his head on the concrete when he fell.

“David was a beautiful person, he served with the military for eight years. He was in the National Guard and was stationed out of Fayette. He was a hero. He always wanted to do whatever he could for his country,” she described. “He was an outstanding father, an outstanding father. His little boy was everything to him.”

Emily told us she’s in Birmingham while they keep David on life support; he was an organ donor. She expects his organs to be donated to people in need of a lifesaving transplant on Tuesday.

“He touched so many lives, and he’s still going to do that. Even if he can’t live, he wanted to help somebody else live,” Emily said. “He was a hero, and he wanted to keep being a hero. And I know that he’ll keep living on through someone else, and I’ll always have a peice of David through our little boy.”

As far as what happened to him, Emily says, “I want him to get the justice he deserves.”

Emily says she wants the people who attacked her husband to know they have left a not-even 2-year-old boy without a father, and her daughter Lilly without her stepfather.

“I want them to know what was taken from us, I want them to know this pain we are feeling–this absolute devastation that has impacted our lives. I want them to know what has happened, and what they did,” she said. “I still have my faith, and I believe even if they are never caught, that God will handle this–that God will take care of them in the end.”

Emily asked everyone pray for her family, especially their little boy, during this difficult time as they struggle to heal from the devastating loss.

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