LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – It was a huge celebration during a moment of sadness – a celebration Jennifer Russell says her son would have loved.
“He’d be so excited. He’d be grinning, dancing, being silly – joking,” she said.
Police say Nathaniel McNealy, known as Ben to friends and family, was shot and killed at a party early Saturday in Lexington when a fight turned deadly.
“I was holding him in my arms. That’ll never leave my mind,” Antonio Cross, a friend, said.
McNealy’s mom received the call that night and rushed to Lexington.
“[I] prayed and prayed on the way there and unfortunately when we got there, my worst nightmare came true. I had lost my son,” she said.
Police do not have any suspects in this case and for Russell, she says it’s unimaginable to think that anyone would have targeted her son.
“I was more than surprised. I was taken so far back I couldn't believe it. I still don't believe it,” she said.
This gathering was not about a tragedy surrounding his final moments, instead, it was a celebration that shocked his family. They say they never expected the support they've received, but it's something Russell says she knows would've made her son proud.
“I just hope that he's thinking, 'wow, my family, my friends they really love me.' I hope he's thinking, 'I did something good. I touched a lot of peoples' lives.' Because he did. He touched a lot of fo people,” she said.
Lexington police have not made any arrests at this time.
If you do have any information, you can call their tip line at (859) 253-2020.