Homicide victim’s mother says she can finally find peace after police make arrest in son’s case

Louisville mother 'shouted' upon hearing news of arrest of son's accused killer

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - While many kids are either back in school or heading in that direction this week, there is a mother who is remembering how her son used to do that.

Nicole Cowherd’s son, Richard Harper Jr., was killed while on his way to school in a drive-by shooting. The 18-year-old was shot and killed in January in the 600 block of South 43rd Street.

It’s taken months, but police have arrested someone in Harper’s homicide case; the arrest happened hundreds of miles away in Ohio.

“When they told me I just started shouting,” Nicole Cowherd said.

Cowherd was hosting a Stop the Violence Back to School Giveaway on Sunday in her son’s honor with other victims of violence, when she got the phone call she had been waiting for.

“Waited seven months,” Cowherd said. “Seven is a number of completion in the Bible. My son was murdered on the seventh day. Seven months I gave the detectives, that’s all I wanted to give him was seven months and they did just that.”

Cowherd’s family said they have known who killed him. So when they noticed the suspect posted to social media, they tracked his location 300 miles away in Ohio. They gave LMPD detectives the information. LMPD then contacted the Maumee, Ohio, Police Department near Toledo, and they arrested the 17-year-old suspect on Saturday.

Cowherd said her son and the suspect knew each other and were friends at one point.

“It’s all over a girl,” Cowherd said. “The suspect was going with a girl, my son ended up going with the girl ... senseless. My life has been a living hell since.”

Harper was also a father. He was supposed to graduate in June from Valley High School. His mother, father, and son accepted his diploma.

Cowherd said her son’s murder case now being solved is giving her some peace. She said she hopes for one thing.

“I pray that no mother has to be where I am at because of losing their child this school year,” Cowherd said. “I just pray that they will stop the violence.”

The Maumee Police Department told WAVE 3 News the suspect had family in the Maumee area; that’s why he was there. The suspect is being held in a juvenile facility in Lucas County, Ohio, pending extradition.

LMPD said its homicide detectives traveled to Maumee to help in the investigation.

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