Hundreds are mourning the death of Raymond Taavel, the 49-year-old gay rights activist who was found murdered outside a gay bar on Tuesday.

Taavel was beaten to death trying to break up a fight between two men outside Menz, a gay bar located in downtown Halifax, Canada. Police arrived at the scene at about 2:40AM and found Taavel lying in the street.

Police used dogs to track down Andre Noel Denny to a nearby alley.

The 32-year-old Denny has been charged with second degree murder, the National Post reported. According to court documents, the suspect has a history of schizophrenia and violence. Police would neither confirm nor deny that Taavel's murder was a hate crime.

The Toronto Sun reported that roughly 500 people attended a vigil in honor of Taavel's memory on Tuesday night.

A giant pride flag was unfurled in the middle of the street and mourners sang Amazing Grace before people took turns paying tribute to Taavel, a former chair of the city's Gay Pride Week and former editor of Wayves, a magazine devoted to the LGBT community.

“The crowd is over 500 strong now,” wrote Simon Thibault at gay weekly Xtra. “People are crying, quietly. Heads are down. More speakers come. They tell stories of Raymond. How he loves to dance. How he makes people smile. How he pisses them off and how they can never be mad at him for very long. How compassionate he is. How kind he is. None of the speakers used the past tense in taking about him. Not one,” Thibault wrote.