Family, Friends Remember Jamaica Plain Shooting Victims

23-year-old Chris Joyce is being remembered as the life of his family, while 58-year-old Clayborn Blair is being remembered as someone who would give you the shift off his back

Police are continuing to search for a suspect as 23-year-old Chris Joyce and 58-year-old Clayborn Blair are remembered by family and friends as loving, kind men.

Joyce and Blair were killed Friday night in Boston's Jamaica Plain neighborhood. 

Joyce's mom says her world is shattered after losing her son.

"They messed us up, real bad."

She says her son was about to graduate from college with a degree in accounting.

"He was an inspiration to the family, he was the life of the family. The real life."

Salem State University released a statement Sunday, saying, "It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of our student, Christopher Joyce. Our thoughts are with his family and with the students who are suffering from a loss of a friend and classmate. We mourn the loss of Chris together, as a community."

University spokesperson Kim Burnett said support services are available for students, faculty, and staff.

"We ask that our campus have privacy at this time to grieve this tragic loss," Burnett said in the university's statement.

The second victim was also remembered Sunday.

"He was a loving father, a brother, a neighbor, an uncle, grandfather. He would give you the shift off his back."

Blair and Joyce were shot Friday night outside the Milfred Hailey apartments.

Officers were on patrol when they heard shots fired in the area of 277 Centre Street. They immediately responded to the gunfire where they found Joyce and Blair suffering from apparent gunshot wounds.

Both men were taken to area hospitals where they later died from their injuries.

Neighbors in Jamaica Plain are saddened by the shooting.

"I am absolutely shattered of course, as a mother to hear about a 20-year-old who has passed is absolutely shattering because this is just a life full of potential," said one woman.

The Joyce family says Mayor Marty Walsh and Boston Police Commissioner William Evans stopped by Sunday afternoon to talk with them,

Mayor Walsh had participated in a gun safety meeting just hours before the fatal shooting. He shared his disappointment Saturday.

"We probably had one of the best summer strategy meetings we've ever had. We talked about a lot of different things and plans for the summer to keep people safe, keep kids safe and last night we have two people killed," Mayor Walsh said.

Violence often rises along with the temperature in the spring and summer months. It's a troublesome trend sparking the minds of community activists looking for ways to cut the crime.

"I think what we need to do is think about how to incorporate young people into creating spaces and the programs that they want to attend," one woman said.

For Ruth Rollins, with the anti-crime organization Operation Lipstick, the city's latest murder shows there is still so much more work to be done.

"Unfortunately losing my son, it's a club nobody wants to join. Nobody should have to bury their child."

But Joyce's mom is preparing to do just that.

"There is emptiness, loneliness, hurt, anger, everything..."

Through their grief, the Joyce family is looking for justice. Police are still looking for a suspect.

Commissioner Evans says the motive for the double homicide is not known. He is urging the public to step up, asking anyone who saw anything to call police at (617) 343-4470. Anyone who wishes to make an anonymous tip can do so by calling the CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1-800-494-TIPS or by texting the word 'TIP' to CRIME (27463).

The BPD is actively investigating the shooting.

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