Tragic Murder: Justice for Christopher 'CalyKris' GrayWritten by Deb "Wonder Woman" Haywood
Christopher John Gray Jr. was his own individual in every sense of the word.
But on a chilly November Monday, he was robbed of his individuality, relegated to the ignominious shame of becoming another Milwaukee statistic.Known more popularly by his nickname “Caly Kris”, Christopher was a larger than life character who loved his job and loved his native Milwaukee community. He was a club promoter and owner of “CalyKris Entertainment”, more proud though of his accomplishments as a father to his two young sons, Chris and Chance. And at 28 years of age, he had good reason to feel as though he had the rest of his life ahead of him.
That all changed when on the evening of November 18th, he returned to his home to surprise two would-be intruders. A vicious fight broke out, with the criminals ultimately taking something far more valuable than Christopher’s money: they also took his life. In a matter of minutes, a community was robbed of a well-known citizen, a family robbed of their son, and two little boys robbed of their father. It was yet another senseless crime, one of the 95 homicides recorded thus far this year for crime-ridden Milwaukee.
For his many friends and those who were likewise touched by him, Caly Kris was described as a genuine guy, kind to everyone, fun loving. When he walked into a room, his presence was made known. He was widely known and well-liked, his loss felt far and wide. Former Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Jennings took to Twitter to mourn the loss of his friend, tweeting on Tuesday “RIP Caly Kris SMH.” “He would not want people shedding tears about this,” outspoken community activist Tory Lowe said of his cousin. “He was a good organizer and loved to see people enjoying life and having fun.” True to his passion and calling as a club promoter, he just wanted everyone to come together to have a good time.
Lowe said Gray was as passionate about his two sons as he was about his work in the community. He loved Chris and Chance with all he had, and could always be found at their school, supporting them in their academic endeavors. In fact, so respected and well known was he by the school that the church adjoining it, Our Lady of Good Hope, volunteered to hold the celebration of Christopher’s life there on Tuesday November 26th.
Christopher was taken from us entirely too soon. But sadly, he is one of many such stories that make up the haunting Milwaukee crime statistics. Of the 95 homicides in Milwaukee so far this year, there are many more Christophers, many more bright and promising young people whose futures were cruelly snatched from them at the hands of a criminal. In the Black community, this is a sad but all too common occurrence. This sad fact does not bring peace to a grieving family searching for answers, left to move forward without their beloved, or two little boys looking for their father to comfort them and be there for them. This also does not begin to help a community desperately in need of healing and of change. It is high time this cycle was broken.
We as a community must help this family find justice, for Christopher’s murderers are still at large. We also must start coming together as a community to find workable solutions to bring about a change for the better. Our community has lost yet another bright young light taken before having a chance to shine. How many more promising young people like Christopher must suffer before we come together in a show of unity to end this senseless and horrible cycle of self-destruction?
The Milwaukee Police Department feels this was not a random attack. They are asking that if anyone has any information that might help in the ongoing investigation to please call them at 414-933-4444. They also have a website if people want to leave anonymous tips at: http://city.milwaukee.gov/Police/submitatip.
The funeral for Christopher John Gray Jr. is at Our Lady of Good Hope Catholic Church located at 7152 N.41st Street Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The viewing will be at 10 am and the funeral will follow at 12 pm. If you are interested in helping the family support Chris and Chance, Christopher’s sons, the family is accepting donations at all TCF Banks, “Christopher ‘CalyKris’ Memorial Fund” Account #3735286380.
Deborah is an African American conservative working for the betterment of the black community in Milwaukee and Wisconsin. As one of the editors of The Milwaukee Drum she contributes regularly to other national blogs and websites. She was most noted as a Herb Kohl "Teacher of the Year" in 2002, and was Dean of Student while teaching at St. Joan Antida High from 1992-2005. She is the founder of the Umoja Project which is a conservative movement to address issues in the Black Community.