Son of slain Danville couple looks to continue dad's dream

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by Alex Schuman

WHAS11.com

Posted on February 20, 2014 at 7:29 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Last September the small Kentucky town of Danville was shocked by a triple homicide at the ABC Gold, Games and More Pawn Shop.  Police arrested Kenneth Keith, a pastor at church in Somerset, in connection with the shooting of pawn shop owners Michael Hockensmith and Angela Hockensmith, and one of their customers, Daniel Smith.

The Hockensmith’s 9-year-old son,  Andrew, and his little sister were inside the pawn shop at the time of the shooting. Police said Andrew picked up his sister, took her into the shop’s office and covered her with his body.  He then called 911.

Since that fateful day, no one from the Hockensmith family has gone to a service at Ferguson Baptist Church, where Michael and Angela attended, but on Feb. 2, Andrew was there, waiting.

“He said he wanted to finish what Daddy started,” Barbara Lewis, Michael’s mother, said.

Andrew’s dad Michael wanted to be a pastor and Ferguson Baptist is where he gave his first sermon. Michael served as the youth minister for a time, and was studying at Clear Creek Bible College to someday head a church. Michael's best friend now leads the congregation at Ferguson.

“He was in the process of finalizing his last credit to get his credentials, when all this happened,” Lewis said.

Andrew still does not talk much about that day.

“He sat there and watched them kill his mom and dad, right in front of him,” Lewis said.  “And her beggin' for her babies. I don't see how anyone could do that.  It takes a cold person. It takes a very cold person to do that to a mother." 

Andrew now goes back and forth between his two sets of grandparents. They work with him to find ways to cope with their loss.

"Honestly, my opinion, I think Andrew's handling it better than I am,” Lewis said.  “He tells me all the time, 'mom and dad's in a better place.’  I said, ‘Yeah, the only thing they would change is that they miss you and your baby sister.’"

His grandparents did not realize at first the affect the past few months had on Andrew's faith until he woke up one week before this service.

Andrew: "He was just, calling me."

Alex: “Who’s he?”

Andrew: “Jesus.”

Alex: “What’s he saying?”

Andrew: “It’s time.”

"He had had a few bad days,” Lewis said.  “And he said, 'Satan’s trying to take me and God's trying to help me!’  And he says, ‘I need to see if I can get baptized."

"It was a choice,” Andrew said.

Andrew said he wanted to be baptized in the church his dad loved, by his dad’s best friend, as the first step in a long journey to finish the path his dad and mom started.

"I was like woo, that's cold!  When I first got in the water,"  Andrew said.

He joined God's family partly to be closer to his own.

Alex: "Why are you excited to make this choice?"

Andrew: "That way I can be in heaven."

Alex: “Why do you want to be in Heaven?”

Andrew: “I’m gonna see Jesus first, and then I’m gonna see my parents.  It’s kind of a sad story.”

A story both his grandmothers intend to let him finish.

"If he wants to finish what his mom and dad started by all means, we'll make sure that it happens,” Lewis said.

And they will.  Because if you ask them, there is nothing more important to this family than their faith in God, and the need to go home.
 

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