LaNiyah Murphy, 20, was sitting in a car parked in the 12200 block of South Wallace Street around 6:15 p.m. when someone opened fire, hitting her in the head, Chicago police said.
She was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
“She was very vocal, very bold,” said Lamar Johnson, friend and mentor at Brave Youth Leaders. “She wasn’t afraid of anything.
Her friends said she wanted to change society, starting with her South Side community.
“She fit the description of a Brave Youth leader, very vocal and not afraid to speak out about things that are wrong in their community,” Johnson said. “She was the reason a lot of young people joined the program while she was here.”
The salutatorian of her promotion to Perspective Leadership Academy, Murphy had endured being shot once before. She also helped save a friend when she was shot in May 2020.
“She was always talking about how she survived gun violence and how people needed to turn around and be peaceful and not resort to gun violence,” Johnson said. “She was shot in the head and she survived that.”
On Wednesday night, Chicago police said they believed Murphy was involved in an argument with the other person in the car, who then fired shots, hitting her. It was unclear who the other person in the car was, whether she was in police custody, or what her relationship to Murphy was. The CPD said the person in the car was known to police.
“She was smart, she was a leader, she was a champion,” Johnson said.
His peers with Brave Youth Leaders in St. Sabina are determined not to allow Murphy’s death to be a number on Chicago’s long list of murders. They will uphold her legacy as another reason to fight gun violence and find the person responsible for taking her away way too soon.
A Chicago police investigation is ongoing.
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.
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