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Family mourns loss of Boston man killed by Red Line train

Robinson Lalin, 39, was killed after he became stuck in the door of a Red Line train at the Broadway MBTA station on Sunday.Lalin Family

Kelvin Lalin last saw his uncle in a fleeting moment at a Boston intersection last week.

Sitting in his car at a red light in the Longwood area on Wednesday, Kelvin spotted Robinson Lalin crossing the street. Kelvin rolled down his window and shouted, “Yo, Rob!”

Robinson Lalin turned around, waved, and shouted back to his nephew.

“It was a quick, ‘Hey, hey! I’ll see you around!’ ” Kelvin Lalin said in an interview Monday night, almost two days after Robinson Lalin was killed after becoming trapped in a door on a Red Line train.

At the intersection last week, the light turned green and Kelvin pulled away as the cars behind him honked their horns.


“I just thought, ‘Yeah, we’ll see each other again,’” Kelvin said. “And then Sunday I get the call from my mother.”

Authorities have not said how Robinson Lalin, 39, got stuck in the closing doors of a Red Line train at the Broadway MBTA station in the early hours of Sunday morning, nor have they explained why the train continued to exit the station while dragging him across the platform.

Nearly all of Lalin’s family’s questions remained unanswered Monday night as they tried to make sense of the horrific circumstances of his death.

“We can’t even have an open casket,” Kelvin said.

Robinson Lalin was more like an older brother than an uncle, said Kelvin, 30. Kelvin looked up to Robinson, the younger brother of Kelvin’s mother, and they forged a deep bond while growing up together in Boston. Kelvin said they played a lot of basketball and ran track, always trying to see who was quicker on their feet.

Kelvin said Robinson loved sports and was a New York Yankees fan, something Kelvin, a Red Sox fan, would rib him over.

“He was a good guy, cool, always smiling and laughing,” Kelvin said. “It’s just crazy, man. We just had so much history together that just dissolved, just shattered that way. Just like that. It makes no sense.”


He said Robinson, who was born in Honduras, had two children, a son and a daughter.

Kelvin, who lives in Everett, said MBTA Transit Police knocked on the door of his family’s Dorchester apartment on Sunday about 2:30 p.m. to notify them of what happened. In the hours since, Kelvin has been communicating with investigators while handling the final arrangements for his uncle and fielding inquiries from reporters, all while mourning his loss.

“I have to pick up the death certificate tomorrow. I’m basically handling all of this myself,” he said. “My family ... they speak more Spanish than English, so I understand what [we] need to be doing right now.”

Kelvin has set up an online fund-raiser to help with the funeral and other expenses.

Family members gathered at Robinson Lalin’s apartment in Dorchester Monday night. Kelvin said they’ve been sharing memories of Robinson on their group chat, where they previously shared memes and jokes with one another.

“It’s crazy because we have so many memories with him,” Kelvin said as he scrolled through the chat on his phone.

“Just seeing him be the only one not responding, because he usually will respond to share … memes and all that, and we all laugh and text,” he said. “He’s the only one not responding because he’s gone.”


Nick Stoico can be reached at Follow him @NickStoico.