Memorial service held for slain Americorps volunteer - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Memorial service held for slain Americorps volunteer

Wednesday's memorial service Wednesday's memorial service
Joseph Massenburg Joseph Massenburg
Glen Emerson (photo from NOPD) Glen Emerson (photo from NOPD)

New Orleans, La. - People gathered at the Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church Wednesday for a memorial service to honor the life of Joseph Massenburg. The church is just blocks away from the spot where a gunman took the Americorps volunteer's life.

The church was packed with people who working with Massenburg in New Orleans and others who never even knew him.

The 18-year-old volunteer was killed on April 1 in the 1500 block of Eagle Street. The Chicago native had been doing volunteer work here for about three weeks when he was killed.

Police say Massenburg was on his cell phone when he walked outside of his house. At the same time, a white Lexus SUV pulled up and the passenger in that vehicle started shooting. Massenburg was shot several times and died at the hospital.

Police have said the murder was a case of mistaken identity.

Massenburg's mother and father traveled to New Orleans for the first time since it happened. They want people to know how dedicated their son was to serving the community. They also want their son's killers caught soon.

"It was our son on April first -- it could be someone else's son tomorrow. And this wall of silence our community is portraying right now needs to stop. We believe our presence here will send a message to the killer or killers that this has to stop. Somebody knows something," says Andre Massenburg.

Several members of the NOPD attended the memorial service.

Police do have a suspect in the case. They are looking for 18-year-old Glen Emerson. Police believe Emerson was driving the white SUV on the night of the killing.

"We believe he's not only in the New Orleans area but we believe he's getting assistance from someone in the New Orleans area. They should be warned that if we find him with them, they are going to have problems as well," says NOPD Sgt. Nick Gernon.

Police are still trying to determine who shot Massenburg. They hope the public can help. There's a $5,000 Crimestoppers reward in this case.

If you can help find the people responsible for Joseph Massenburg's death, please call Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111.

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