James Joyner was a man with a troubled past, but friends say
he was getting himself together before he was murdered on Sunday in Avondale.
With a history of drug use, incarceration and arrests behind
him, Joyner had just got a new job at a barber shop and had given up drinking
and drugs, according to friend Michael Hill.
"He went through
some struggles for awhile and he got himself together. He moved out of state,
came back, got himself together. He was on top of his game," said Hill, who
claims he grew up with Joyner.
Joyner, 45, was
found in a vacant lot on the intersection of Reading Road and Whittier around 1
a.m. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
People who live
near the murder scene told FOX19's Gordon Graham that Joyner was shot several
times by a young man who got into a dark four door sedan and drove off. They
said Joyner could be heard begging for help before he died.
Police are looking
for clues as to why he was murdered and have yet to release any suspect
still shocked by his friend's death, is remembering the positive impact Joyner
had on his life.
"Jim Jim was a real
good guy. You know, he was kind-hearted, he was giving, you know, fun to be
around… a lively guy full of life."