Community comes together over death

Courtesy H.U.S.D.

Courtesy H.U.S.D.

By Louis LaVenture,
Sports and Campus Editor

It turns out the community of Hayward is pretty strong.

In the wake of the shooting death of Kionta Murphy Jr. around 1 a.m. on Aug. 4 several local organizations stepped up to help the Murphy family and the community.

After the Hayward Unified School District heard about the 17-year-old’s death, they began to plan a vigil for the teen on Aug. 7. However, before the district could start the process several students had already informed them that they organized their own vigil for Murphy on Aug. 4 and more than 400 students confirmed they would attend. Several members of the HUSD including Superintendent and CEO Stanley “Data” Dobbs and Communications Coordinator Sabrina Aranda attended the student led vigil and funeral services for the Mount Eden High School Alum.

“We decided to show up and give our support to the family, the students and the community,” Aranda said. “It meant a lot to the students. Several of them were talking about how important it was to have the principal and superintendent there. The support meant a lot.”

Aranda also said the school district worked with a photo company that takes school pictures to provide a free portrait to the family for the services. According to Aranda, in cases like these the school will make an announcement to all students and have an open forum to discuss what the students would like to do in regards to the tragedy. Since the incident took place while school was not in session, Mt. Eden would have to wait to proceed with the discussion between students and staff until classes resumed on Monday. At the time of publication school officials had not made the announcement to students.

HUSD weren’t the only ones to lend a helping hand. Glad Tidings Church of God in Christ in South Hayward allowed the family to use their facilities to hold the services, which has a much larger capacity than the other facilities that were originally intended to be used, according to church representative Pam Sharp.

“His family had some connections to our church,” Sharp said.

The Youth and Family Services Bureau is a part of the Hayward Police Department, where police officers and professional counselors work together to provide several unique services to residents of Hayward. The YFSB provides family counseling, crisis intervention and school-based counseling program and YFSB Counseling Supervisor Lynnette Davis said while they do provide these services, she could not confirm what was offered in regards to the fatal shooting.

It is unclear how or from whom HPD received the information or sketches from at the time of publication. Murphy was a Mount Eden High School graduate and had no criminal or gang ties, according to HPD. The former football and wrestling team member while at Mt. Eden planned to enlist in the United States Marine Corps, according to the Murphy family.

Police are asking if anybody has information in regards to the case to contact HPD Detective Steve Riley at 510-293-7034.