Choir conductor found murdered

December 24, 2007 9:09:28 PM PST
A man who worked as a choir conductor and school teacher was found Sunday shot to death. The victim is 47-year-old Donald Young.

Young's death has been ruled a homicide. His body was discovered Sunday morning inside his South Side home at 2320 E. 69th St.

Donald Young was the fourth of eight siblings. He was, according to those who loved him, the type of person who didn't take life for granted. He lived every day to the fullest. So whether it was in the South Side classroom where he taught, or at church conducting the choir every Sunday, Young made an impression on those who met him.

"He was one of those success stories, the average person would look at and say he doesn't have a chance," said Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Trinity United Church of Christ.

And yet, before his death , Donald Young succeeded mightily. He was a choir conductor at Trinity United Church of Christ for many years. Amateur video shot just last week shows him doing what for him wasn't a profession but a calling.

"He came to our church when he was 12 years old. And he wasn't brought because of his mother and father. He just came because of the other kids and became active in the church," Wright said.

The church became Young's extended family. When news of his killing came during Sunday morning services, Reverend Wright said many parishioners got up and went straight to Young's home. The third floor apartment in the 2300-block of East 69th Street is where Young was found shot to death by his roommate.

"He was a person who believed in loving people with God love. A love that a lot of us don't have, agape love, unconditional love," said Donna Hammond-Miller, close friend.

Young was also a fifth grade teacher at Guggenheim Elementary. Family spokesperson Dennis Cole told ABC7 Young had just finished a double masters in early child education and math. His ambition was to become a school principal.

"There were so many good times, so many photos to go through. So many tears of joy, sadness," said Cole. "But most of all just the fact that we're all here to inspire each other and encourage each other is the way we get through this at this time of the year."

Services for Donald Young are scheduled for Thursday evening.

As for the investigation, so far police aren't saying much, other than that they are still conducting interviews. As you might expect, Young's family really wants this case solved. As ABC7 left the Young home Thursday evening, one of Donald Young's sisters said "we want answers. We want peace."


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