LOS ANGELES (CBS) — An aspiring lawyer, 22-year-old Clifton Hibbert Jr. was only weeks from graduating college when he and a friend were murdered in South L.A. Three years later, authorities are reinstating a reward to help find those responsible.

City Councilwoman Jan Perry and the LAPD announced Wednesday that the city would offer $75,000 for information leading to an arrest in the murders of Clifton Hibbert Jr. and his friend Kenneth Patterson.

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“It’s never too late to find justice for these young men,” Perry said at a press conference Wednesday.

(credit: CBS)

Investigators hope the reward will encourage witnesses to come forward.

“I know there were witnesses and I know there are people out there who know what happened. And I ask them to please come forward,” LAPD Detective Charles Geiger said.

Donna Brown remembers the last moments with her son: “The last words he said to me was, ‘Mom, I love you,’ and I said, ‘I love you too, son.'”

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Hibbert’s parents immigrated from Jamaica and said their son’s future was full of promise. They said he played basketball at Santa Monica High School and was weeks away from graduating from California State University Northridge. He worked part-time and volunteered with at-risk youth.

On March 28, 2008, Hibbert and Patterson were headed back to their cars after a party when they were fatally shot on the street.

Brown said Hibbert had no gang ties.

“To know that someone did someone so cold, murdered somebody in the middle of the night, and other people may know, others out there may know something, and I know they do. Take a stand for what is right,” Brown said.

CBS2/KCAL9 was unable to reach the family of Kenneth Patterson.

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Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD homicide detectives.