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Friends, family mourn after shooting death of UW-Whitewater graduate

Posted at 10:24 PM, Feb 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-08 09:34:07-05

MILWAUKEE — A family is remembering a loved one taken too soon by gun violence.

TMJ4 News spoke with people who knew the 22-year-old man shot and killed on 23rd and Wisconsin just before 12:30 p.m. Saturday.

Loved ones confirmed the victim’s name was Purcell Pearson. People who knew him best told TMJ4 News they don’t understand why anyone would’ve wanted to take his life.

“We are the ice-cold brothers of A Phi A and we come to break it down like this,” Pearson could be heard in a cell-phone video stepping with his line brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.

Loved ones said he was a beacon of light, and positivity, both in the City of Milwaukee, and at UW-Whitewater.

“He was one of those students who was so liked on campus and everybody knew him,” said Dr. Kenny Yarbrough, UW-Whitewater campus advisor, Alpha Phi Alpha.

His impact was also felt in Milwaukee.

“Purcy was such a good Brother and he was a leader and did so much for the chapter at UW-Whitewater,” said Clint Myrick, president of the Milwaukee chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha.

His life was unexpectedly taken at the hands of a gunman at 23rd and Wisconsin. Police said they’re still investigating the incident, but they say suspects in a vehicle fired at Purcell before taking off.

“The ironic thing about how he was murdered, he was not violent. If anything, he was the guy who always said, calm down, lets figure it out and see how we need to approach this,” Yarbrough said.

“Sometimes, the word brother isn’t enough to describe how tight we are,” said Brian Diggs, one of Pearson’s fraternity line brothers.

Outside of family, Pearson’s line brothers knew him most. The group of six, together, known as S.S. H.A.V.O.C. sat down to speak with TMJ4 News.

The couch was noticeably missing one of their own...

“We just hurt. We just heartbroken our brother passed at 22,” said Dy’Quan Gipson.

While he is gone, his brothers, say they will continue to honor his name and the positive legacy he’s left behind.

“Purcy, his whole life revolved around inspiring others to reach their full potential,” said Christian Braverman.

City Attorney Tearmann Spencer, Pearson’s uncle, wrote this on Facebook:

Our hearts are broken! We loss our 22 year old nephew, Purcell, to senseless street violence in Milwaukee, yesterday!

He was so eager to learn and achieve:

Recent 2020 UW-Whitewater Grad

UW-W Student Council President

Alpha Phi Alpha Chapter President

Young aspiring entrepreneur

Most importantly, a son of Our God, a dutiful son, brother, cousin and friend!

I enjoyed teaching him, Cornel, Monae basketball in the driveway! He was the littlest back then, but was the biggest in spirit and eagerness to play... his famous words to me...”pass me the ball, pass me the ball” and I would, and then he’d pass it right back. That was the kind of kid he was. Very giving of himself. A beautifully spirited, loving and gentle young man.

Love you Purcy

TMJ4 News did make contact with Pearson’s mother, she said it’s too soon to speak but does have plans to hold a vigil at 23rd and Wisconsin at 6 p.m. Monday.

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