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Gay youth killed by Metra train
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times

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Jermaine Murray, a popular young gay man, was killed Oct. 2 when struck by an outbound Metra train, according to Youth Pride Services (YPS). He was 20 years old.

"Jermaine was an extremely popular and well known member of the black LGBT youth community, and his death comes as a tragic loss to a number of youth across this city," said Frank Walker, president of YPS, in a statement. "I'm stunned."

Walker remembered Murray being greeted like a celebrity when he arrived at one event.

"The main thing I remember from that day was how many youth flocked to him when he arrived," said Walker.

Murray was a member of the Kardashians, a chosen gay family of 44 people.

Alex Ashley, a close friend of Murray's, said his friend "was a sweetheart. I can't think of any bad experiences."

Ashley described Murray as an upbeat and stylish person who attracted many friends.

"He was genuine and that's so hard to find," said Ashley. "He was just such a positive and uplifting person."

According to Ashley, Murray grew up in Chicago and attended South Shore High School. He went on to study at Harold Washington College. He came out as gay in 2008 or 2009 and found a large community through the Kardashians.

According to Metra spokesperson Michael Gillis, Murray was struck just before 6 p.m. on Tuesday by an outbound train travelling from Millennium Park to Blue Island. The incident occurred at 53rd Street in the Hyde Park neighborhood.

Gillis could not say why Murray was on the tracks.

"Our engineer of the train said that he saw him and sounded the horn, and [Murray] didn't seem to react to the horn," said Gillis.

The engineer reported that he tried to stop the train but was unable to do so in time.

Ashley said that Murray had been talking on the phone with a friend moments before he died. He told the friend he had boarded the wrong train and needed to switch. The call dropped shortly before Murray died, said Ashley.

Ashley said the news of Murray's death "spread like wildfire."

"Jermaine was just such a warm and kind spirit," he said. "He was a well-known and well-loved person."

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