Friends remember Morgan State student Manuel Luis Jr. as the ‘light’ in any situation
By Laurel Demkovich
Jul 22, 2019 | 12:46 AM
Whenever Aaron Murray became upset during a Parkdale High School baseball game, Manuel “Manny” Luis Jr. was there to cheer him up.
After a strikeout or a bad play, Murray would find his place in the dugout and sit quietly.
“Hey, Aaron!” Luis would shout. “You good, you got the rest of the game ahead of you.”
Luis always told people “you good,” Murray said. He knew exactly how to make anyone feel better.
That’s why Luis’ July 11 death shocked Murray, 19, who had known Luis since middle school and called his death “the most random event in his life.” The two were sitting at a Buffalo Wild Wings just days before the 19-year-old Morgan State University student and Hyattsville resident was shot to death in a failed robbery attempt off campus that remains under investigation and without arrests as of Saturday afternoon, according to the Baltimore Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which is working with the Baltimore Police Department on the case.
Police said Luis was walking to his car around 2:27 a.m. on July 11, near the 4700 block of Loch Raven Boulevard when two unidentified men yelled at him to stop. Luis did not stop, police said, and instead, he got into his vehicle.
One suspect then ran across the street and fired multiple shots into the vehicle, officials said. Luis was hit twice and killed.
Police said the two suspects ran away on Pentridge Road. Officials said they believe the two suspects are in their late teens to early 20s and reside in the city.
Luis’ family members declined to be interviewed.
Since high school, Luis was someone everyone looked up to, Murray said. He took dual-enrollment classes, was an active member of the Parkdale’s Student Governance Association and still made it to baseball practice every day.
“He had his plan,” Murray said. “He had everything set.”
After graduating last year, Murray became a business student at Morgan State University.
“As a community, the Morgan family collectively extends our deepest sympathies and sincere condolences to the Luis family,” an MSU statement read. “We ask that you keep them and their extended family and friends in prayer.”
Kevin Alarcon, 24, was a family friend of Luis whose parents were always close with Luis’. Alarcon said he saw Luis grow up.
“He was always happy as a little kid, always happy,” Alarcon said. “I’ve never seen him sad, nothing, never seen him mad.”
Erick Saavedra, 23, was also a family friend. Saavedra and Alarcon are members of a band called Los Jefes Del Este. Luis was a huge fan, Saavedra said.
Luis was a great guy, Saavedra said, and he touched a lot of lives. At his funeral this week, Saavedra said he had never seen a church so filled.
“He had the positive attitude that you look for in a human being,” Saavedra said.
“He was always happy as a little kid, always happy. I’ve never seen him sad, nothing, never seen him mad.”
Kevin Alarcon, a family friend of Luis Manuel Luis Jr. whose parents were always close with Luis’
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Murray and other members of the Parkdale High School baseball team organized a candlelight vigil last weekend to honor Luis. The Parkdale Student Governance Association created a video montage honoring him.
Luis was the light in any situation, Murray said, and everyone came together after his death.
“It made it a little easier, not only for ourselves, but also for the family,” Murray said.
The Baltimore Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is offering a $5,000 reward for information regarding his death.
“These suspects ended the life of an innocent young man who was a promising student with a loving family,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Rob Cekada in a statement. “Their blatant disregard for his life and the quick decision to shoot make it clear that they represent a serious danger to this city and its citizens.”