LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – Less than a week into the new year and the Louisville Metro Police Department already has homicides to solve for 2021.
This was the year many claimed would be for change, growth and prosperity. In Louisville, the tragedies and record numbers of shootings reported last year are pushing through into the new year, with homicides recently claiming the lives of two women.
It’s an epidemic Tony Lowe felt before the ball dropped on New Year’s Eve.
“You would never think going to get your hair done,” Lowe said. “You could end up in somebody’s mess and murdered.”
Someone shot and killed Lowe’s niece, Antonia Lucas, 21, in the Smoketown neighborhood on Jan.31. Lucas’ family found her dead in a car with Daniel Key Jr., 23.
Lucas’ family said she met him few weeks ago.
“My daughter, her girlfriends, her mom, her brother they were the ones who found her,” Lowe said. “Because they traced her phone.”
In 2020, 35 women were shot and killed in Louisville. Lucas’ aunt wants all women to know not everyone who smiles at you has a pure heart. Lowe said she learned from the coroner that Lucas did not see those shots coming.
“Young ladies are getting caught up in senseless violence that they have nothing to do with,” Lowe said. “I encourage you mothers and fathers to stay on them.”
The pain that concluded 2020 took away a thriving young businesswoman. Lucas owned her own company called Twisted Balloons.
Less than five hours into 2021, Jennifer Whittaker, 40, was shot multiple times in her home in Shively.
Then on Monday, LMPD reported Veronica Wecas, 28, was shot at an unknown location and died at Norton’s Hospital in downtown Louisville.
More grieving families and that numbness covers Lucas’s family.
“That smile it was infectious,” Lowe said. “Every room that she entered she brought joy she giggled she laughed she danced.”
Lucas’ family said they have had to wait an extra week to lay her to rest because the funeral homes and cemeteries told them they are overwhelmed and booked from shooting victims and COVID-19 deaths.
Lucas’ family members are begging anyone with information to come forward and call the LMDP anonymous tip line at 502-574-5673.