Family, friends of Louisville teen shot and killed in Lexington - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Family, friends of Louisville teen shot and killed in Lexington gather for vigil

Nathaniel McNealy (Source: Family photo) Nathaniel McNealy (Source: Family photo)
Jennifer and Shayla Russell (Source: WAVE 3 News) Jennifer and Shayla Russell (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A Louisville teen went to Lexington to have a good time at a party and never made it back home.

Nathaniel McNealy, 18, was shot multiple times and died early Saturday morning. 

Family members said McNealy went by Ben or Benji. He had just turned 18 years old. His mother, Jennifer Russell, spoke to him while he was in Lexington and the phone call she got just hours later, wasn't what she was expecting. 

"I was told that my son had been shot," Jennifer Russell said.

Jennifer Russell and her two daughters said when they found out what happened Saturday morning, they rushed to Lexington, but couldn't get there in time. 

"When we got there, he didn't make it," Jennifer Russell said.

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McNealy had been shot multiple times while at a party on Unity Drive, close to the University of Kentucky campus, around 2 a.m. Saturday. His sister, Shayla Russell, said other people got into an argument at the party and someone pulled out a gun. 

"It happened between somebody,” said Shayla Russell. "He just happened to get caught in the crossfire. Just wrong place wrong time."

Jennifer Russell said she always spoke to her son about being safe, that's what her last conversation with McNealy was about. 

"You call me immediately if anything happens doesn't look right doesn't sound right," Jennifer Russell said. "Our worst nightmare came true."

McNealy loved to make people laugh, had dreams of becoming a mechanical engineer, was a big Cats fan, and wanted to go to school at UK. 

His family is now trying to understand why anyone would take that away from him.

"I'm devastated, I'm beyond hurt," Jennifer Russell said. 

"It's just a tragedy because he didn't deserve something like this, that's what hurts the most," Shayla Russell said.

Lexington Police have not made any arrests in this case.

Loved ones planned to gather at 5 p.m. on Monday at Berrytown Park to celebrate his life with a vigil following at 6:30 p.m.

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