AUSTIN — Days before he was fatally shot on a Humboldt Park sidewalk, Eddie Murphy came home waving a piece of paper for everyone to see.
"He brought a sheet of paper home showing he was going back to school [to get his GED]," said his brother Joseph Henderson, 23. "He asked our grandmother to frame it."
Murphy, 21, was killed after being shot in the 600 block of North Springfield Avenue at 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, police said.
He was walking north on the sidewalk when a gunman fired shots at him, piercing his chin and ear.
Murphy was found unresponsive and was pronounced dead about 20 minutes later on the scene, the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office said.
Neither police nor family could explain why Murphy was in the area or whether he was targeted in the shooting, but family members said a crowd of people came to their home the night after his death to remember a man known for his loud voice, bright clothing and always being hungry.
"There were people who we haven't seen in years who came," said 20-year-old cousin Tyries Henderson. "He was loyal. If he was ever your friend and you had problems, he would be there for you."
On Saturday morning, remnants from the vigil remained, including wax from candles used to spell out "EDDIE" as well as posters and teddy bears wrapped in plastic for protection from the rain.
A football also remained at the base of a tree. Murphy had played running back at Douglas High School before he dropped out, his family said.
But Murphy, named after his father, wanted to return to school for his toddler daughter, Tremist.
"He loved his daughter and she loved him," Tyries Henderson said.
The second oldest of four siblings, Murphy had most recently been working through a local temp agency and had just signed up for GED classes through Malcolm X College.
A copy of that application is now framed in the home he grew up in and hangs on the same wall as dozens of family photos.
"He loved to sing, even though he couldn't sing a lick," Joseph Henderson said.
Murphy's family said that while he made missteps in his life, they couldn't see any reason why anyone would shoot him.
"I have to live every day knowing that when my mom looks at me, she'll see him there," Joseph Henderson said.
Services for Murphy will be held 10 a.m. to noon Friday at the Miracle Temple, 4645 W. Madison St.