The state of Tennessee denied Philip Workman's unusual last request, but the nation responded.
The convicted cop killer wanted vegetarian pizza for his last meal on Tuesday night, but he wanted it delivered to the homeless. Prison officials said no.
On Wednesday, word spread across the nation — and pizzas started appearing at Nashville homeless shelters. The Nashville Union Rescue Mission received more than 170. Dona Spangler of Nashville, who works in the film industry, pitched in with others to send pizzas.
"I wanted to do something," she said.
Teenagers at the Oasis Center, which provides services to homeless teens and youth, ate pizza thanks to listeners of a Minnesota radio station.
"If this guy wants to show a redemptive act at the end, then we ought to encourage that, especially because by denying the request, you're actually denying some poor homeless guy a pizza," said Ian Punnett of WFMT.
Thomas West, who has been at the mission since November, commended Workman, saying, "At least he left this world while he was thinking of somebody else."
Prison spokeswoman Dorinda Carter said two members of the public contacted her with criticism, but one man called her to get contact information for the mission, and he said the department was right not to spend tax dollars delivering such a pizza.