Deacon says change must come from within following murder near church

A man was found murdered in front of a church on the city's east side late Monday night. But violence isn't deterring people from fighting for their neighborhood.

SAN ANTONIO - The killers responsible for the murder of a man found dead in front of an east-side church are still on the loose.

Gunshots rang out just before midnight on Monday near Upland and Martin Luther King Drive.

Police say that the man is in his early to mid-20s. The medical examiner's office hasn't released his identity yet.

Officers say that someone drove by the 200 block of Upland and saw the man's body in the street, just down the road from Eastwood Community Missionary Baptist Church.

"When we watch the news, you hear 'east side' and automatically you think about this negativity," said Wallace Reed, a deacon at Eastwood Community Missionary Baptist Church.

Deacon Reed grew up five miles from his church, where, every January, thousands peacefully line up for the annual MLK March.

"The line up starts right out front, here at the bridge," Reed said.

He says that change for the east side begins within. One day he hopes more businesses will invest in them, bringing more jobs to their community.

He used the AT&T Center as an example.

"The AT&T Center, when they built that, we thought jobs would come in that area. Once it was built, it failed to attract any businesses at all," Reed recalled. "The stigma that I believe most businesses have is, 'I can't build on the east side because of the crime.' We can't expect someone on the other side of town to say, 'Well, the east side is alright,' if they don't live on the east side. We have to develop that mentality to go out and show San Antonio we are a progressive neighborhood."

The violence doesn't faze Travis Murray, Sr. Day or night, he rides his Honda "Big Red" 1984 ATV through the east side streets to help any neighbors in need.

"My thing is to help out any way I can," said Murray, who grew up in Louisiana and spent a few years in the Navy. "From emergency situations, if someone ran out of gas, I can take the gas can to the store, help them out with a flat tire."

Murray is the walking example of change. His goal is to focus on the youth, especially those who may have run into trouble. He hopes to guide them on a path that will lead to a bright future.

"You never know what's going to happen. Someone could be stuck on the side of the road," he said. "You have to have a heart to go through that dark tunnel to see the light. Once you see that light, you keep on walking."

Investigators say that there were no witnesses to this crime. If you have any information on this case, call police.

© 2017 KENS-TV


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