Police investigate shooting death of star high school athlete

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BROCKTON, Mass. (AP) – The violent death of a star high school athlete, who hoped to become the first member of his family to attend college, has left relatives and friends stunned.

Jose Gurley, 17, was shot twice early Saturday while at a party near his mother’s home, police and prosecutors said. The bullets struck Gurley in the wrist and back. He was pronounced dead at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

No arrests had been made in the slaying as of Sunday night, said Bridget Norton Middleton, a spokeswoman from the Plymouth district attorney’s office. Investigators were trying to determine if Gurley was the target of the shooting.

Gurley was a Brockton resident but attended West Bridgewater High School under that town’s school choice program. As a junior, he helped the school’s football team win the Division Four Super Bowl last season, and also played basketball and ran track.

Donna Gurley, Jose’s grandmother, said the teen was considered the fourth-fastest runner in Massachusetts.

“He wanted to show his family that he could be someone – and make a good name for the Gurleys,” she told The Boston Globe. “Just the other day, he was saying, ‘I’m Jose Gurley; I’m going to be different. I’m going to go to college.”‘

The youth had no ties to any gang, his grandmother said.

Gurley went out of his way to be friendly, said West Bridgewater High School principal Jeffrey Szymaniak.

“This is a huge loss for us,” he said, adding that he could not remember a student from the school dying under similar circumstances.

“This really hits us at home. Now we have a face to all the victims of violence we read about in Brockton and Boston,” said Szymaniak.

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