David McAtee passed on on Monday while police officers and soldiers from the National Guard were enforcing a curfew in Louisville in Kentucky.
Several cities across the United States have witnessed mass Black Lives Matter protests following the death of George Floyd, who was suffocated by a white policeman.
Louisville is one of the cities where the protests have been severe, with the demonstrators clashing with security forces.
McAtee’s family said he was shot while trying to protect his niece who also got shot during the chaotic protests.
However, while his niece was fortunate to survive, McAtee was found dead from a gunshot wound.
Meanwhile, Mayor Greg Fischer has fired Louisville’s police chief, Steve Conrad, over the incident.
“This type of institutional failure will not be tolerated. Accordingly, I have relieved Steve Conrad of his duties,” Mr. Fischer said, as quoted by Metro.co.uk.
McAtee ran a restaurant called YaYa’s BBQ Shack and was said to regularly give free meals to police officers during their shifts.
Mother of the deceased, Odessa Riley, said the loss of her son has left her grieving, having already lost her daughter earlier in the year.
“He fed all the policemen. Police would go in there and talk with him and be with him,” Ms Riley said.
“He fed the police. He fed them free. All he did on the BBQ corner was trying to make a dollar for himself.”
Meanwhile, federal authorities and the state police said they are investigating circumstances around Mr McAtee’s death.