TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — "As a person Demario was great. He just was a great guy, very friendly. He always kept that little smile. You knew it was a sincere smile. Lovable, great friend, great father, great son. Him and his mom are extremely close," said Shelby Smith, Demario Murray's classmate.
Friends of Murray are speaking out to share the story of family man Demario Murray, a devoted father to his two young daughters, a loving son to his parents, and a partner to his long-term girlfriend.
Murray and Smith had attended school together since junior high. Bianca King, a friend of Murray's since grade school, said she is devastated.
"He didn't even involve himself in that type of crowd. So, it's very devastating in knowing that," said King.
The Saturday shooting on West Pensacola Street outside of Half-Time Liquors left eight people injured, and one was killed on the scene, Murray. Tallahassee Police says Murray was not believed to be part of the incident.
Mutaqee Akbar, president of the local chapter NAACP, grew up with Murray on the Southside of Tallahassee. Akbar knew him to be a modest and stand-up individual and was shocked when he heard the news of his passing.
"Knowing Ro, knowing the life that he was living I knew right off hand without even knowing the story that he could not have been the target in the situation," said Akbar.
Now, after backing several stop-the-violence initiatives within Tallahassee, Akbar is asking for more to be done.
"I'm tired of rallies. I'm tired of meetings. I'm tired of talking about it. I'm tired of us trying to figure it out and not doing anything about it. It's been going on way too long and now it's hitting innocent people," said Akbar.