Joseph Massenburg managed to escape the gun violence crippling the Chicago area where he was from only to be gunned down in New Orleans. Massenburg, an 18-year-old from Matteson, Ill., was in the Big Easy doing volunteer work with AmeriCorps, when he was found dead Monday (April 1) night.
AmeriCorps has since pulled two groups, with its National Civilian Community Corps, out of the area. One of the teams worked directly with Massenburg. “We’ve moved them back to the campus just for the time-being,” AmeriCorps press secretary Samantha Warfield said in a statement. “These people worked and lived together as a team– they are sort of like a small family and their physical and mental well-being is our number one priority.”
One of the two teams was working with Habitat for Humanity, while the other was embedded with Green Light New Orleans, an organization that installs free energy efficient light bulbs for residents in the city. “Everybody at Green Light New Orleans is deeply saddened by Joe’s death,” GLNO said in a statement on its website. “We know that people are as outraged as we are about this senseless violence and that many are interest in doing something to express their support for Joe, for AmeriCorps, and for the community affected by the crime.”
Massenburg recently graduated high school and joined AmeriCorps as a step in dedicating his life to public service. He was the son of two ministers and spent much of his time in the church showcasing his “natural gift,” for helping people.
Police have not revealed a motive, or announced the arrest of a suspect, in Massenburg’s death.