Murdered Americorps volunteer remembered as man for others

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wwltv.com

Posted on June 12, 2013 at 10:19 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 12 at 10:21 PM

Karen Swensen / Eyewitness News
Email: kswensen@wwltv.com | Twitter: @karenswensen

NEW ORLEANS -- After the murder of someone so good, it would be easy for the community to be defeated; instead, it's inspired.

“It gives me even more reason and energy to do what we do,” said Andreas Hoffman of Project Green Light.

And it would be understandable if his parents focused on the way their son died, but instead they celebrate the way he lived.

“Joseph, he loved life, he was life,"  said Sharon Massenburg, Joseph's mother. "He was just willing to come, he was excited to be here.”

Such is the legacy of Joe Massenburg, the young Americorps volunteer whose life was celebrated at a church service Wednesaday night as police combed the streets for his killer.

“We believe he's not only in the New Orleans area, we believe he's probably receiving assistance from several individuals in the New Orleans area,” said NOPD Sgt. Nick Gernon.

Massenburg left his home in Chicago and moved to New Orleans for the sole purpose to help, but after visiting his usual eight to nine families a day, someone gunned him down as he walked down the street.

No motive has been revealed, nor could ever make any sense to those who loved him.

“It was our son April 1. It could be someone else's son tomorrow," said Andre Massenburg, Joseph's father.

It's not hard to see who shaped Joseph's character, just as the young volunteer came here to help. His parents have, too.

“It's not just for Joseph, it's for all of the victims of crime and gun shootings, and we just want it to stop," said Sharon Massenburg.

His parents are here tonight not for vengeance, but for justice, and they're confident they'll get it.

“We believe that justice would happen for Joseph,” Andrew Massenburg said.

Like Joseph, Andre and Sharon Massenberg have faith in New Orleans.

New Orleans police are looking Glen Emerson. They don't believe he was the shooter, but police say he was driving the getaway car and will be charged with second degree murder.

If you have any information on his whereabouts or the identity of the gunman, call Crimestoppers at 822-1111.

 

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