David Livingston McCoy was a tornado of a man, a tall and lanky fellow who would race around Tucker's Restaurant and Lounge, sometimes with an apron, sometimes with a waiter's notebook, sometimes with his hands in his pockets. But always, his employees said this week, with a wide grin spread across his handsome face.
McCoy, 50, grew up mostly in Montgomery County and graduated from Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda. For the past three years, he was a manager at Tucker's, a single-level brown brick building obscured by towering oak trees off Route 4 near Upper Marlboro.
Oct. 25, a Friday, began like all others. He arrived at the restaurant, joked with the waitresses and busboys, and offered his help with the morning breakfast crowd.
"Just before he said he was leaving to go to the bank, he walked up to me and he saw I was counting money and he said, 'There she is, always counting the money,' " said longtime employee Cheryl Morgal. "Now I can't count money without thinking of that or without thinking about him."
McCoy, a lifelong resident of the Washington area, was shot to death about 10:30 that morning, moments after depositing a large sum into an account at Columbia Bank, in the 8700 block of Central Avenue, just off the Beltway. All he had with him, his family and police said, was some money for the cash register, small bills that he was taking back to the restaurant.
Prince George's County police said McCoy, of College Park, was near his vehicle when a man in a dark-colored, four-door Nissan Maxima with tinted windows, a bent antenna and possible damage to the front passenger door drove up to McCoy. The suspect, described only as a black male in his twenties, fired once and struck McCoy in the upper body, killing him instantly. Witnesses told police that the man grabbed McCoy's zipped money bag, hopped back into the Maxima and sped away from the scene. Two other men were also in the vehicle, witnesses told police.
McCoy's death, one of 115 homicides in the county since January, shocked and angered his tightknit family and friends -- his kin and the people he worked with at Tucker's, a well-known county establishment that is a walk back in time, where a meal of eggs, toast and coffee still costs about $3.
"He didn't have a bad bone in his body," said his brother, Kevin McCoy, 58, of Chevy Chase. "He treated the busboys like big clients. He loved what he did and was crazy about life."
McCoy was born at Columbia Hospital in Washington and moved with his family within months to Italy, where his father was stationed with the Foreign Service. When he was 7, his brother said, the family -- then also with three young daughters -- moved back to the Washington area. A few years later, they moved to Madrid and returned to Montgomery County in 1964. David McCoy and his siblings remained in the area and attended local schools, his brother said.
After high school, Kevin McCoy said, his younger brother attended Guilford College in Greensboro, N.C., for two years. He spent his adult years in and out of the restaurant business, Kevin McCoy said, first at Gadsby's Tavern in Alexandria, then at various other pubs, including one in Dupont Circle and another in Silver Spring, before finally landing three years ago at Tucker's.
"With this job, he had finally made it to a level where he and his wife could afford certain things," Kevin McCoy said of his brother, who was married for 17 years to Robyn McCoy, a librarian in Prince George's County schools. "He was just a real family man. He loved participating in family events and would travel the farthest of anyone to go to family reunions. That's what made him happy, his family and probably the [Washington] Caps and the Redskins. Those were his big loves."
Tucker's employees described David McCoy fondly. Although a "firm boss when he needed to be, he was one of our best friends," Morgal said.
"He would come in like a whirlwind every day," she said, her blue eyes smiling, her hands -- as if it were second nature -- folding a white paper napkin around a silver fork, spoon and knife at a booth.
"He would put on an apron, and if we needed help making sandwiches, he'd make sandwiches. If we needed help at the cash register, he would take the money. If we were really busy, he would help us bus tables so they would be clean and ready for the next customers. At the bar, everyone knew him, and they were just crazy about him."
Before his memorial service last Friday at Paint Branch Unitarian Universalist Church in Adelphi, Morgal said, Tucker's regulars -- construction workers, truck drivers and other blue-collar workers -- showed up at the restaurant in shirts and ties. So many people took time off work to remember him, alongside his two young children -- Colin, a freshman at Eleanor Roosevelt High School, and Aengus, a second-grader -- as well as his wife, four siblings and his parents, ages 80 and 84. McCoy is also survived by a stepson, Rico Renzi III.
"We just knew he was going to the bank, but then so much time passed and he still hadn't gotten back here," Morgal said. "Then we found out what had happened, and it just really tore us all up. It's been rough."
Kevin McCoy said his family is coping, taking baby steps but still far, far from reaching any sort of peace about his brother's slaying. Besides feeling terribly sad, the family is also angry, he said.
"When that first Saturday came around, when the sniper had been caught and everyone could go happily on with their lives, well, that didn't help David," he said. "We just want the killer to be caught."
County police said they have established neither a suspect nor a motive in McCoy's shooting, but they asked that anyone with information call the department's Crime Solvers at 301-735-1111.