By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Hennepin County prosecutors have filed charges in the shooting and death of a man at the Minneapolis intersection known as George Floyd Square.

Thirty-one-year-old Shantaello Christianson is charged with second-degree murder for the death of Imaz Wright in front of Cup Foods on March 6.

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Christianson allegedly drove up in a vehicle and shot Wright multiple times before driving off.

Thirty-year-old Wright was working for the group Change, Inc., an organization that uses relationships and community to create educational and healing opportunities.

Cory Byrd, Change Inc.’s director of youth and family engagement, led the group Tuesday in remembering Wright’s life and legacy.

“The real story, it needs to be coming from his family,” said Byrd.

Jay Slaughter, Wright’s cousin, introduced him to Byrd and Change, Inc.

“He was one of the leaders of change, he was one of the energies that can galvanize people and bring them together,” said Slaughter. “He showed empathy and sympathy no matter what background you had or where you came from, and I know he was perfect because we come from a neighborhood where we did not have mentors.”

Imaz Wright was 15 when he got his first job working with kids and Larry Wright was right by his side.

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“We were mentors, so growing up we just wanted to keep on developing with kids, helping kids,” said Wright. “He lost his mom, I lost my dad, this my granny kids, so as growing up in the same house we turned into brothers.”

It was Imaz who brought Larry to Change, Inc., believing they could once again help others.

“His heart was into this. We were supposed to go out of town to bury our uncle in Chicago, I left and he had two new students so he couldn’t go, he said he was dedicated into getting his job and doing his job so that’s what he did. He didn’t take that trip with us,” said Wright.

Imaz was a key worker in the youth and family engagement division of Change, Inc. and a navigator helping people find a better path, focusing on youth in and around 38th and Chicago.

Friends and family believe It was that effort that cost him his life.

“The pain is unbearable and something else, but at the same time this might help a lot of brothers move forward in knowing he was doing the right thing and have that mindset to help the community,” Slaughter said.

Change, Inc. is now determined more than ever before to give people something to hope for.

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“It’s the passion of what he had and the desire he told me to keep going it’s like I’m living his legacy for him I got to keep it going for him,” Wright said. “With our community been going through for so many years it’s time for us to have change within our own just like what this group called Change.”

Reg Chapman