🏈 Damon Murray was shot outside a Hoboken Housing Authority building

🏈 A suspect was arrested in western Massachusetts

🏈 Murray was a football and basketball player at Hoboken High School

The first gun-related homicide in Hoboken since 2022 took the life of a former standout athlete training to become a firefighter.

Damon Murray, 21, was shot to death late Sunday night around 11:30 p.m. outside a Hoboken Housing Authority building. He was taken to Jersey City Medical Center for a gunshot wound to the abdomen where he was pronounced dead, Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez said.

Suarez said late Tuesday afternoon that Albert Morales, 33, of North Bergen was arrested in Chicopee, Massachusetts by Massachusetts State Police. Morales was charged with first degree murder and unlawful possession of a weapon.

He will remain in custody pending extradition to New Jersey. Suarez did not disclose a motive for the shooting or why Morales was in the Bay State.

Mayor Ravinder S. Bhalla described Murray as a "well-respected, standout athlete" on his X account.

"My deepest condolences go out to his family and friends during this difficult time. May his memory continue to live on through all who knew him," Bhalla wrote.

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Announcement of Damon Murray's commitment to Rutgers in 2020
Announcement of Damon Murray's commitment to Rutgers in 2020 (Rutgers Athletics)

Giving up on football for his family

The Hoboken Public Education Foundation remembered Murray not only as a talented basketball and football player but also as a dedicated mentor, hard-working paraprofessional with kindness, empathy and a big heart.

"We are incredibly saddened to hear of Damon Murray's tragic passing, and our hearts go out to his family, friends and all those grieving this tremendous loss. Mr. Murray touched the lives of so many members of our school community as both a student and staff member," the foundation wrote on its Facebook page.

Hoboken High School principal Robin Piccapietra said Murray worked for the Department of Special Services.  His former football coach said Murray was training to become a firefighter

Murray committed to play football for the Scarlett Knights after graduation in 2020 but had to withdraw due to family obligations, according to The Daily Targum.

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