He was one of those students who made his teachers proud. Smart, polite and handsome, Joe Gibbs surprised no one when he left California after graduating in 2007 and came to Atlanta to attend Morehouse College.
“We just knew he was going to go off to a good school,” teacher Sharon O’Neal told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
But last week, Gibbs was shot multiple times inside his car, not far from the Morehouse campus. His death came as a shock to those both in his hometown outside of Los Angeles and in Atlanta.
“It’s just a huge blow to us,” O’Neal said Monday afternoon.
O’Neal said she met Gibbs as a young student in the Culver City, Calif., school system, but also as a parent with children who were classmates of Gibbs.
Jarilyn Walker, 24, told the AJC she met Gibbs several years ago when she, too, was new to Atlanta and here to attend school.
“He was super sweet. Such a good guy,” Walker said.
Walker said she and Gibbs kept in touch through social media, and recently he told her about a new job he landed.
No suspects have been publicly identified. Investigators believe Gibbs and his passenger were targeted, but police haven’t said why or what the motive may have been.
Morehouse College President John Wilson released a statement Friday about the death, pledging that the college is cooperating with Atlanta police in the investigation.
“Under any circumstance, the loss of a young life is difficult to accept,” Wilson said. “But tragedies such as this demand that more be done to ensure the safety of our students.”
Gibbs, an English major just a few hours short of his degree, participated in the May graduation ceremony, where President Barack Obama spoke.
The funeral for Gibbs will be held Saturday at 10 a.m. at Angelus Funeral Home in Los Angeles. Internment will follow in Holy Cross cemetery in Culver City.
A Lawrenceville pastor wants his congregation to know the good news about the Gospel of Mark. Dean Sweetman, senior pastor of the C3 Church, has challenged his members and anyone else interested to read the New Testament book in its entirety over the next year and post Instagram photos of their notes.