UC Berkeley sophomore Zachary Bradley died Friday night during a concert in Oakland, leaving family and friends stunned by the loss of a man widely remembered as lively and loving.
Bradley fell more than 20 feet from an elevated and restricted area behind the stage at Spookfest 2014, a concert held at Oracle Arena. He was 20 years old.
Bradley, who intended to be a molecular and cell biology major, hoped to be a doctor someday.
To friends and family, Bradley had a radiant and vibrant personality. Those who knew him said he was as much a goofball as he was a kind friend.
Bradley’s Facebook page has since been flooded with friends and family saying goodbye. Many of them describe how Bradley brought laughter, inspired confidence in others and changed their lives.
“I woke up this morning and literally started (bawling),” wrote Kyle Hosley, one of Bradley’s brothers in campus fraternity Theta Delta Chi, on Bradley’s Facebook. “I don’t think you understand how pissed I am at you for leaving but then thought about the good times we had in the moments I knew you.”
Another one of his fraternity brothers, Daniel Han, described Bradley as one of the most genuine people at UC Berkeley and as being “unapologetically himself, with an infectious smile and a loving heart.”
Paul Mercado, who previously worked at The Daily Californian and took Bradley into his group of friends last year, often experienced Bradley’s creativity, intelligence and love of life. He recalled how Bradley would walk to Mercado’s apartment around the corner, often to play songs on his guitar and practice his Spanish. He eventually hoped to minor in Spanish.
His friends also said Bradley liked to play music on guitar and piano, especially the song “Taylor,” by Jack Johnson.
Beyond anything, Mercado hopes that Bradley is remembered more for his life and the memories he shared with people than for the tragedy of his death.
“Zac embodied the fearlessness of youth, with enough ambition and drive to do anything,” said Michael Kinane, Bradley’s roommate, friend and fraternity brother. “Above all, he was the most genuine and loving friend I could ask for.”
According to Kinane, he, Bradley and another one of their fraternity brothers were planning on traveling to Colombia for three weeks over winter break.
Leonardo Rosas, one of Bradley’s fraternity brothers, said he will miss Bradley’s “quirky dance moves” and “contagiously silly smile.”
“I will always miss and cherish all the unforgettably adventurous experiences we had and memories we made,” Rosas said in an email.
Bradley is survived by his mother, Cristal Rodriguez, his father, Michael Bradley, and his two brothers.
“Goodbye my beautiful boy,” wrote his father on Bradley’s Facebook page. “I love you.”