It’s been almost a year since 41-year-old Demario Murray was shot and killed outside Half Time Liquors on West Pensacola Street. The shooting took place during Florida A&M University’s homecoming weekend.
Murray’s family and friends gathered this week to reveal a billboard in his honor.
The billboard on South Monroe Street not only honors the life of Demario Murray but also calls for an end to gun violence in Tallahassee.
Driving down South Monroe Street, it is almost impossible to miss the billboard, which features a photo of Murray smiling. The words are forever in our hearts: “The gun violence must stop.”
Attorney and civil rights activist Mutakee Akbar joined the Murray family for the unveiling of the billboard on Wednesday.
“His family along with his firm put up a billboard to commemorate the anniversary of his death and of course celebrate his life and also to send a message out and to make it real as far as the violence going on in our community,” Akbar said.
Murray was shot and killed outside Half Time Liquors on Oct. 29, 2022. Several others were injured as two groups — both identified as gang members from neighboring Gadsden County — exchanged gunfire.
His mother Sandra Horne spoke out for the first time since the shooting at Wednesday’s press conference. A civil lawsuit was filed by the family in March against Half Time Liquors and Westwood Plaza. According to court records, De’Arius Cannon, 30, and Tamylon Williams, 26, were both charged with second-degree murder in the death of DeMario “Ro” Murray and attempted murder for shooting into the crowd. This is now in litigation.
Edwin Barcuis lives in Tallahassee. He owns a business across from the billboard and says there’s too much violence in this area.
“I feel like this young man did not have to die. I feel like grown men need to get together with the young and teach them how to love one another. I think that will help with the gun violence,” Barcuis said.
Attorney Akbar noted that FAMU and FSU will soon be celebrating homecoming, and safety is important for those participating in activities. He says there are still discussions to find answers on how to stop the violence.
Safety protocols such as watching your surroundings and who you decide to be around during homecoming is important, Akbar said.