CHICAGO (CBS) — A Governors State University student was gunned down in Chicago’s West Pullman neighborhood this week.

As CBS 2’s Jermont Terry reported, the murder of LaNiyah Murphy came as a shock to friends – because the young lady was a strong activist in preventing gun violence.

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Murphy had a vibrant smile, and her friends said her presence was guaranteed to draw you in.

“She was very bold in her personality,” said Lamar Johnson, violence prevention coordinator with the anti-violence youth group Bold Resistance Against Violence Everywhere, or BRAVE. “Everyone loved and liked her.”

On Tuesday evening, just four days into the new year, the 20-year-old’s life ended. A single bullet fired from an unknown shooter hit in the head while she sat in a parked car near 122nd and Wallace streets in West Pullman.

“She’s a victim of this tragedy, but at the same time, she’s a champion with her peers,” Johnson said. “and that’s why it hurts.”

Murphy joined BRAVE at St. Sabina Academy in Auburn Gresham, despite never actually having attended the school.

“She was a leader for her peers,” Johnson said.

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And Murphy was brave and bold for the cause.

“She also spoke on our behalf in Washington, D.C.,” Johnson said. “She helped lead a demonstration at the White House, and spoke Purdue University about gun violence prevention and organizing against school shootings.”

Murphy graduated from high school in 2020 as the salutatorian, and remained active with the youth group – which is why it was devastating to know she died by the same gun violence against which she rallied.

“That goes to show that there’s more work that needs to be done,” Johnson said. “The fact she was a young person doing this speaks volumes to the climate of our city’s leadership. More needs to be done in our city.”

As police searched late Wednesday for whoever caused the scene – leaving a bigger void in the hearts of so many – Johnson said it will only ramp up BRAVE’s efforts to stop the violence.

“And she means so much to so many people,” Johnson said. “It’s not just St. Sabina. It’s not just BRAVE. It’s her school. It’s her parents. It’s her siblings.”

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CBS 2’s Terry is told members of BRAVE plan to honor Murphy in the coming days. It was not yet clear Wednesday night what that would entail, but the anti-violence group is known for rallying in the streets. And of course, the murder is personal for the group.