Muhiyidin Moye was filled with new purpose in the weeks before his death.
At a memorial for the slain Charleston Black Lives Matter activist in Hampton Park on Saturday, his friend Brandon Fish told a crowd of roughly 100 people about a final conversation he had with Moye — one that spoke of a vision for the future of the Holy City.
"I think a little bit, he became disillusioned with things that weren't working in Charleston and he left for a while to find himself in the mountains," Fish said. "(He) came back down and however it happened, he decided to start traveling and learn what people were doing in other communities. The last time I spoke with him, he was very excited about bringing a model back to Charleston. He said, Charleston is ready. ... It was the first time I'd heard him so excited in more than a year."
But that promise was cut short on Tuesday when Moye, who also went by the name Muhiyidin d'Baha, was shot in the thigh while walking a bicycle around 1:30 a.m. on Bienville Street in New Orleans.
Officers found him bleeding on the ground near a mountain bike, according to a police report. They followed a trail of blood over several blocks until they found a bullet fragment elsewhere on Bienville Street.
Moye, 32, was taken to an area hospital, where he died later that morning. Authorities have not named any suspects or a motive in his killing.
Those who knew and worked with him said his spirit and passion for the community will not only be remembered, but will honored by continuing the work that was so important to him.
Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg, at the memorial, called Moye one of the community's most dedicated citizens and a freedom fighter who lived to serve and led from a place of heart, wisdom and courage.
"He was truly a strong leader who gave hope for the future to young generations," Tecklenburg said.
Moye made headlines for grandiose gestures like grabbing a Confederate flag from a protester at a College of Charleston event in February 2017, but his real work was in the community, especially with children, Fish said.
"He was teaching kids how to drum," he said. "He was making sure that kids had the tools that they needed and he was thinking about his program from the block up. ... That's something that people are trying to band together to do, to create in his blueprint. If y'all want to contribute to that, contribute your time to that. Let somebody know."
Shakem Amen Akhet, an activist with the Charleston Black Nationalist Movement who also goes by Johnathan Thrower, said he and Pastor Thomas Ravenell are working to create an academy for African American youth in Moye's memory.
"After the events that just happened, we decided to change the name so it's going to be the Muhiyidin d'Baha Leadership Academy," Akhet said. "We're going to be starting off with third to fifth grade. It's going to be a reader intervention program starting off. We're going to teach young, African American children, boys and girls, who they are."
Louis Smith, executive director of the Community Resource Center in Summerville, said his organization will also be involved in the effort, which they hope to launch in May.
"We're going to continue the fight in his memory," Ravenell said. "We're going to continue to address the issues that are concerning our communities, and most of all, we're going to engage more than we ever did in the streets, in his memory."