Juan Grant, described by many as Freddie Gray’s best friend and subsequent activist in the years following his death, was murdered Saturday (April 27) on the four-year-anniversary of Gray’s funeral. He was 33-years-old.
According to reports, Grants had just dropped off his younger cousin to a relative’s home and was driving to his grandmother’s Westwood Avenue house at about 8 PM when his black Cadillac slammed into a dirtbike in the 1800 block of N. Payson Street.
His grandmother said he got out of the car unsure if he was going to confront the person or see if the person was okay.
“Whoever it was, just shot him,” Frederina Grant, Juan’s grandmother said.
Grant was taken to a local hospital where he pronounced dead with a gunshot to the head.
“He was trying to make a difference in his own way,” Frederina said to The Baltimore Sun. “He was determined that he was going to march and have people march with him to find out what happened.”
Grant’s brother had a child with Gray’s twin sister and was considered a brother-in-law. As tensions rose in the community following Gray’s death, Grant reportedly returned to the station repeatedly and met with then-Police Commissioner Anthony Batts and then-Deputy Commissioner Kevin Davis wanting answers.
Gray’s family attorney William H. “Billy” Murphy called Grant’s murder “beyond ironic”
“After Freddie’s death, he became an activist in every sense of the word,” Murphy said. “He participated in almost every demonstration about it and continued after Freddie’s death to be a spokesperson in his and Freddie’s neighborhood about the evils of police brutality and misconduct and what had to be done to reform the department,” Murphy said. “Grant will sorely be missed.”