A popular LGBT rights activist died Thursday six weeks after he and his husband were attacked in what police are calling a hate crime, Gay Star News reports. He was 71.
George Zander was sent to Desert Regional Medical Center early Thursday morning and died from unknown causes. His husband Chris Zander, who was also injured in the October attack, took to Facebook to discuss his husband's passing.
"His passion and strength has paved the road for many of us to follow and build from. His legacy will live on forever. I love this man more than I love life itself. I can only assume that is what true love is," he reportedly wrote. He added George died "in loving arms and in very little pain."
As a result of the attack, George suffered a double hip fracture and needed to undergo surgery, which then required weeks-long of rehabilitation.
George was one of the co-founders of the Desert Stonewall Democrats and was currently serving on the Palm Springs Police Department Advisory Board, Gay Star News reports.
Chairwoman of the Desert Stonewall Democrats Ruth Debra told the Desert Sun George's passing was "sudden" and "unexpected."
"All of us who are his friends are very sad and a little angry," she told the newspaper.
It was reported earlier this month police arrested two men believed to have been involved in the attack, which took place over Halloween weekend. Both Christopher James Carr and Keith Terranova pleaded not guilty but remain in custody.
At the time of the incident, Carr allegedly "intentionally" bumped into Chris and used gay slurs towards him. After the couple argued with Carr, he then allegedly tackled Chris, who was left with a concussion and required staples to the back of his head.
Carr then allegedly returned with Terranova and attacked the couple. Police accused Terranova of beating Chris with a tire iron and accused Carr of attacking George.