Obama mentions slain Evanston teen in gun control speech


Source: Carolyn Murray

President Barack Obama made an apparent reference this evening to Carolyn Murray (pictured), the mother of slain Evanston teen Justin Murray, in a speech on gun control in Denver.

Ciara McCarthy, Assistant City Editor

President Barack Obama mentioned a shooting victim from Evanston during a gun control speech this evening in Denver.

“I had another conversation just a couple of months ago with a mom from Chicago — actually, Evanston, Illinois — whose son had been killed in a random shooting,” Obama said at the Denver Police Academy. “And she said, ‘You know, I hate it when people tell me that my son was shot because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.'”

It’s unclear who exactly the president was discussing. The mothers of two slain teens from Evanston have met Obama in recent months.

Dajae Coleman, a freshman at Evanston Township High School, was gunned down in a case of mistaken identity in September. Coleman, 14, was killed a few blocks from ETHS.

Tiffany Rice, Coleman’s mother, attended Obama’s remarks on gun control at Hyde Park Academy in February and met the president after his speech.

Justin Murray, 19, was shot dead in November outside his grandmother’s home in west Evanston. Police believe the shooting was part of a gang-related family feud.

Carolyn Murray, Justin’s mother, attended this year’s State of the Union address as a guest of Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.). While in Washington, D.C., Carolyn Murray met first lady Michelle Obama. About a week later, Carolyn Murray attended Obama’s remarks on gun control at Hyde Park Academy on Chicago’s South Side and met with him afterward.

The president and the first lady “said if there’s anything that I needed to help out with community projects from this point on, to contact them,” Carolyn Murray told The Daily in February.

Clarification: A previous version of this story said Obama made an apparent reference to Murray in his speech at the Denver Police Academy. Obama could have been referring to Coleman, so it remains unclear who exactly he was discussing.

— Ciara McCarthy