‘He wasn’t out there ripping and running,’ minister says of the victim. ‘He was a good kid.’
By Bobby Ross Jr. | The Christian Chronicle
After Hurricane Katrina, Charles and Angela Marsalis found their calling in New Orleans’ high-crime Hollygrove neighborhood — where both grew up.
The couple started Bible studies for boys and girls on the front porch of a relative’s flood-damaged home, serving snacks and soft drinks in return for the young people’s attention.
Gregory Hawkins was one of the first children to join the group.
“Greg had been with us since we started,” said Charles Marsalis, who baptized Hawkins. “We practically raised him up here.”
But on Sunday — after worshiping at the Hollygrove Church of Christ, the congregation the Marsalises planted after Katrina — the 19-year-old Christian was shot and killed, church leaders said.
Neighbors heard multiple shots about 2 p.m., and when officers arrived, they found a victim with at least one gunshot wound, New Orleans police told The Christian Chronicle. The victim was taken to a hospital, where he later died. Police have not made any arrests or determined a motive, a department spokesman said.
“Greg was one of the quiet kids,” Marsalis said. “He didn’t really bother anybody. He would just go on about his business. If you messed with him, he wasn’t afraid to fight with you. But he wasn’t a kid who looked for trouble.”
First published online, this story appears in the December 2017 print edition of The Christian Chronicle.