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Family opens up about unsolved murder case of NC A&T marching band member

Avery Horlbeck would have turned 23 years old in September. He was a member of the North Carolina A&T marching band.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The family of an NC A&T University marching band member killed in a shooting is celebrating what would have been his birthday.

22-year-old Avery Horlbeck died last November. He was shot in his apartment at Block 43 off Clinton Road last October.

His mom, Aisha Lemon, said the security cameras in front of his apartment were not on.

Horlbeck's birthday was Monday. Instead of spending time with him, they are marking the first one without him.

"We loved him, he made us laugh," His mom, Aisha Lemon said. "He was a good person and loved music."

Horlbeck was the middle child of three siblings and grew up in Charlotte. His sister, Tamia Hunter, said he acted like a big brother to her.

"I think Avery was very, very funny," Hunter said. "He loved to be around family. He loved his dog, Hazel. Growing up, we were just silly, goofy kids."

Lemon said Horlbeck started playing instruments as a toddler. He started with guitar and went on to play piano, drums, french horn and other instruments.

"He could hear a song and play it," Lemon said. "I'm not sure if he could read sheet music but he could play by ear."

He started playing the french horn in the middle school marching band. While in high school, his parents paid for private lessons. He also played first chair in the Charlotte Symphony.

His mom said an instructor told them Horlbeck should audition for Julliard or Berkely School of Music but the family couldn't afford the cost.

Instead, Horlbeck enrolled at NC A&T and joined the Blue and Gold Marching Machine. His mother and sister said he had a bright future ahead of him.

"I never thought this would happen to him because as outgoing as he was, he was also very private," Hunter said.

The family said they were blind-sighted by Horlbeck's death and relied on their faith in their grief.

"It is awful to walk around with a broken heart," Lemon said.

The family held a party to celebrate his birthday earlier this week. Wednesday, they drove from Charlotte to canvass the apartment complex where he was shot.

"I'll stand on the street corner and shout his name until I don't need to," Lemon said.

No arrests have been made in the case but the family believes justice will come.

"People are reckless and they don't care. My son did not deserve that, period," Lemon said.

Horlbeck's mother and sister will advocate for change as they wait for that day.

"If you know something, say something. You don't know how much you would help," Hunter said.

They hope they won't have to go through his next birthday without answers.

Anyone with information about this shooting is asked to contact Greensboro/Guilford Crime Stoppers at 336-373-1000. Citizens can also download the mobile P3tips app for Apple or Android phones to submit a mobile tip, or submit a tip through the web. All tips to Crime Stoppers are completely anonymous. 

RELATED: Man shot in Greensboro in October dies from his injuries

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