New annual event honors young man killed by gun violence

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A young man, whose life was tragically cut short, is being remembered Sunday night, Sept. 5 on his 23rd birthday.

Purcell Pearson was killed in February of 2021 while trying to sell some designer sunglasses.

According to police, one person responsible for his death, Tyrell Joseph, is behind bars.

However, there's still a warrant out for the arrest of Ismael Moreno, the other individual police believe bears responsibility for Pearson's death.

Pearson's family, friends, and loved ones remembered him in many ways with a new annual event Sunday; the Purcell Pearson Community Event.

"Today on what would've been his 23rd birthday, we are here to celebrate my son Purcell and what he stood for and believed in," said Purcell's mother Stephanie Johnson welcoming everyone to the event.

Speakers at the community event included family, friends, and Pearson's fraternity brothers.

"It's sad to say some glasses that I know some of ya'll even have on your own face, was more important to the shooters than [Pearson's] life," said Eric Baber.

Baber, one of Purcell's Fraternity brothers at UW-Whitewater said he wrote those words of poetry after what happened to Purcell on February 6th.

The incident was caught on camera, Purcell was on the side of a van as the driver crosses an embankment, going down the wrong side of Wisconsin Ave. before Pearson was shot.

Milwaukee 4th District Congresswoman Gwen Moore was in attendance at the event Sunday.

"When you hear so much about African American, Black men, and them being at risk, Percell was just the opposite of that," said Moore, "and so we're here to lift his spirit up"

Pearson's uncle, Milwaukee City Attorney Tearman Spencer, was also at the event.

He said while he won't comment on ongoing investigations, he's confident in the ability of the police, and hopes Pearson's name can mean something positive to others

"And the spirit of keeping in the mind on entrepreneurship and doing great things in Milwaukee," said Spencer.

One way his frat brothers are doing that is the Purcell Alex Pearson Scholarship.

"It's at UW-Whitewater, we're trying to reach endowment status, and we're almost halfway to our $25,000 goal," said Purcell Alex Pearson Scholarship committee member Christian Braverman.

If you're interested in helping out with that scholarship, you can go to the UW-Whitewater page here, and select the Purcell Alex Pearson Scholarship from the drop-down menu.

Tyrell Joseph, the assailant in the case that has been captured, is expected back in court on September 29.

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