Washington — A young Jewish staffer for the Democratic National Committee was shot dead in an apparent robbery near his home in Washington, D.C.
Seth Conrad Rich, 27, was shot early Sunday morning in the Bloomingdale neighborhood, near the Capitol, about a block from his home.
Police in announcing the killing did not ascribe a motive, but his father, Joel, told the Washington Post that the police believe his son may have been the victim of a botched robbery.
“He wanted to make a difference,” Joel Rich told the newspaper.
Seth Rich, the voter expansion data director for the DNC, worked on databases to help voters identify polling stations, the Washington Post reported. Colleagues told JTA that he was also engaged in Jewish outreach.
“Our hearts are broken with the loss of one of our DNC family members over the weekend,” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., the DNC chairwoman, said in a statement. “Seth Rich was a dedicated, selfless public servant who worked tirelessly to protect the most sacred right we share as Americans – the right to vote. He saw the great potential of our nation and believed that, together, we can make the world a better place.”
Rich, a native of Omaha, Nebraska, was the boating education director and staff programming director at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin in 2011, according to his LinkedIn profile.
“Seth communicated proactively to facilitate the success of the campers with special needs who were in his class and went above and beyond to provide opportunities for all of my campers to participate successfully in the boating program,” said a reference on the LinkedIn site from the camp’s special needs head, Talia Kravitz.
A colleague and friend, speaking anonymously, said Rich was proud of his Jewish upbringing in Omaha.