Louisville daughter grieves father killed on her 14th birthday as city’s homicide numbers climb

Louisville daughter grieves father killed on her 14th birthday as city’s homicide numbers climb

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Homicides are on the rise in Louisville, with LMPD data showing as of Sunday, there have been 84 homicides in the city this year alone. This week, there have been at least three more homicides.

Among the staggering number is a mother who celebrated her son’s death after losing him a month ago.

Ronald O’Brien Jr. was 41. Jessie Harold, O’Brien’s mother, said she’s only met with LMPD investigators once about the case, and every time she calls she never gets a call back from the department.

“He’ll call me later,” Harold explained. “He’ll call me Wednesday, and I never get the call.”

O’Brien was killed on his daughter’s 14th birthday. During a vigil to remember his life, his daughter brought a cross that reads “Dad” in red letters.

“I brought it today because I wanted my dad to have one for him. He didn’t deserve to die,” the 14-year-old said.

O’Brien spent his last moments on Woodruff Avenue where he was shot. A celebration of his life brought his family and friends together on the very road he spent his last moments.

After O’Brien was shot, he reportedly walked to one of his neighbor’s homes. Lisa Burks said she and her son did everything they could to save his life.

“I wouldn’t hesitate for anybody, because that’s somebody’s kid,” Burks expressed. “That’s a child, that’s her child, and I know her.”

Burks has known the family for a couple of years, she said she misses seeing O’Brien every day. She and Harold are two mothers who want LMPD to step up because they say families need answers and violence is out of control in the city.

Harold cried as she explained she doesn’t feel like there’s an excuse for mothers like her to not get answers following the death of their child.

“I don’t think they work on them like they should. That is somebody’s child, somebody’s baby,” Harold said.

Burks also said she supports funding the police and feels like police officers need more money to do their job.

“They need to go back to patrolling the streets like they used to in the old days,” Burks added. “Get to know the neighbors, that way you have eyes and ears in the neighborhood.”

LMPD data shows this year, only 36% of 2020′s homicide cases in the city have been solved.

WAVE 3 News reached out to LMPD in regard to the O’Brien case but did not hear back.

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15% of LMPD’s force left in one year, with nearly 50 bowing out after protests