The mother of the 19-year-old shot to death in Evanston Thursday night is one of the organizers of a city-sponsored gun buyback program scheduled for next month.

Alderman Delores Holmes, 5th Ward, told the Evanston Review that Justin Murray’s mother, Carolyn Murray, has been “very active in the community forever.”

As an activist with WEST, the West Evanston Strategic Team, she won praise recently from Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl for pushing for the gun buyback, which is scheduled for Dec. 15 at Christ Temple Missionary Baptist Church.

The buyback program was organized in part as a response to the shooting death earlier this fall of 14-year-old Dajae Coleman.

Justin Murray, who graduated from Evanston Township High School last year, was gunned down at about 6:15 p.m. Thursday in the 1800 block of Brown Avenue, a block from his mother’s home in the 1800 block of Grey Avenue.

He was transported by paramedics to Evanston Hospital where he was pronounced dead just before 7 p.m.

A photo posted on Flickr five years ago shows the then 14-year-old Justin among the mourners at a candlelight memorial at the ETHS football field for 17-year-old Darryl Shannon Pickett, an ETHS football player shot to death that year.

Evanston police say they’re actively investigating Thursday night’s homicide but do not yet have a suspect in custody. They’re asking anyone with information about the shooting to call the police department at 847-866-5000.

ETHS Superintendent Eric Witherspoon, in a message posted on the school’s website, said student services staff members would be available to provide grief counselling to students and staff who might need it.

Murray had previously attended King Lab school and made the honor roll there as an eighth grader in 2007.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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