Murdered Williamsburg bouncer died trying to save coworker, cops say

brooklyn bouncer homicide
A bouncer who was killed at a Williamsburg bar was trying to defend a coworker, cops said.
File photo by Dean Moses

A Williamsburg bouncer who was stabbed to death while at work last week was trying to aid a female colleague when he was murdered, authorities said.

It seemed like just another shift for 61-year-old Laurence Hopkins on Feb. 10. He was working a security gig, sitting on a chair eating a plate of chicken wings inside of the Garden Bar and Grill located at 140 Graham Ave. during the early hours of the morning, blissfully unaware of what was about to unfold.

According to NYPD Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny, a female employee of the bar was making her way through the establishment and squeezing by patrons at about 1 a.m. when two men apparently intentionally blocked her path. This reportedly escalated from a shouting match into a shoving match, prompting Lawrence to get involved.

“He gets up to help out this woman employee and while he’s trying to calm the situation down, we have numerous witness statements saying that he’s telling everybody to ‘Relax, just chill out.’ One of the males breaks free and stabs him in the neck unprovoked from the side,” Kenny said. “Poor guy never saw it coming.”

Hopkins was stabbed and slashed in multiple areas across his body, the most severe injury of which mortally wounded him via the neck. The stabbing was so brutal the knife lacerated his neck so deep it actually cut through his tongue, Kenny said. He also suffered a four-and-a-half-inch deep cut under his right armpit and a stab wound in his chest.

Co-workers attempted to save Hopkins’ life by trying to stop the bleeding until paramedics arrived. However, he died a short time later at NYC Health and Hospitals/Woodhull.

Despite the bar being filled with some thirty customers, police say many of them report that they saw very little of the incident, yet most macabre of all they did even less to help the bouncer.

“Some of them actually finished their drinks before stepping past the victim as he was sitting on a bench bleeding out,” Kenny said. “It’s a sad state of affairs.”

Police reportedly recovered the murder weapon and have video footage of the incident and are working to apprehend those involved.

So far in 2024, one homicide has been reported in the 90th Precinct, where Hopkins was killed, according to the latest NYPD stats. The Brooklyn North patrol has seen nine homicides this year, down just slightly from ten during the same period of time last year. A total of 12 homicides — including shootings and domestic incidents — were reported in Brooklyn last month.