There was an outpouring of support Saturday evening for the family of the 16-year-old shot and killed protecting his sister during a robbery.
Andrew Murphy died Thursday at Marivue Park in Phoenix.
Hundreds of people gathered at the same park for a candlelight vigil. Hymns offered comfort as family and friends held tight to one another.
"He would always show us that he loved us," said Andrew's sister, Cheyenne Murphy.
The shooting suspect is believed to have robbed a 14-year-old at the park near 5500 W. Osborn Rd. and was in the process of committing another robbery when Murphy tried to intervene and protect his 14-year-old sister. Murphy was shot in the chest, police said.
Murphy was a young man with a tender heart. He was very involved in his church and served as a junior deacon. The 16-year-old excelled in math. He was also a talented artist who liked to draw and play piano. But perhaps his greatest gift was his ability to make everyone feel included.
"He was a love bug. He loved on everybody. Andrew would have wanted everybody to make the world a better place," said his mother Kathy Murphy.
"My son was an awesome young man who displayed fearless actions more times than this one time that ended his physical existence," said his father Dominic Murphy.
Murphy lived for love and he died for it, standing between his sisters and the gunman that took his life. Although his father has every right to harbor hate for the man who took his son's life he says that he's forgiven him.
"I know my son didn't want to die. But he was ready to die. And the reason I feel joy is because if I am to stay stuck in the past and never be able to move on from this, then my son's death would have been in vain," said Dominic Murphy.
Funeral arrangements have been made for Sunday, Sept. 23 at Beacon Light Seventh Day Adventist Church at 2602 N. 51st Ave. in Phoenix. Viewing will be from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. with services at 11 a.m.
People can donate to the family at any Wells Fargo Bank for the Andrew Murphy Memorial Fund.
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