Family of man killed at Iroquois Park basketball court holding out hope for justice

Family of murder victim refuses to give up hope that killer will be caught

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A family, torn apart over a basketball game, returned Sunday to the very spot where their loved one was gunned down eight months ago.

There are still no suspects and no arrests in the murder of Darryl King Jr., 26, shot and killed on the Iroquois Park basketball courts April 4th.

Sunday, Dec. 15, would have been King’s 27th birthday. He was fatally shot just minutes after arriving at the park that fateful night.

His family says it was over a basketball game.

“Losing a child is the worst thing that can ever happen to a family,” his father, Darryl King Sr. said.

“Just with the holidays being here it’s very hard,” his mother, Yvonne Rankins said. “It’s hard for his kids. They ask about him every day.”

The weight of still not knowing who murdered her son eight months later, doesn’t smother a mother’s hope.

“I’m hopeful every day,” Rankins said. “I’m asking the police, don’t give up looking. We don’t want this to be a cold case like my sister’s is. Never give up hope, never."

Rankins is not only burdened with her son’s unsolved murder, but also her sister’s, Rebecca Rankins, who was shot and killed in her own home in 2011.

“No one can explain or understand how it feels until it happens to you and we just want help, any kind of help we can get,” said Rankins.

Help, not just for their family, but also their city.

“We need to come together as people,” King Sr. said. “I’m not talking about black, I’m not talking about white, I’m talking about all of God’s people. We are one and we need to come together and stop this.”

Just hours before his death, King Jr. was talking with Simmons College President, Reverend Kevin Cosby, about attending the school, bettering his life, and pursuing his dreams.

Cosby said they planned on giving him a scholarship.

The family’s church, St. Stephen, has created a scholarship to Simmons College to help provide the same hope and opportunity King was reaching towards in his final hours.

“It’s the legacy for my son that no one else has to lose a child anymore,” King Sr. said.

The family is asking anyone who might have been in the area or playing basketball in Iroquois Park around 7:45 p.m. on April 4th to come forward with any information they can provide.

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