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‘All we got now is memories’: Family of killed construction worker sends message to shooter

Published: Nov. 19, 2021 at 5:42 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The family of Fred O’Bannon, the construction worker who was shot and killed this morning shared their frustration while grieving.

O’Bannon’s aunt and sister spoke about who he was and how he changed his life around.

They said because of what the gunman did, they have no choice but to hold onto the memories they have a little tighter.

”It don’t make sense... it don’t make sense!” Theresa Hunt, O’Bannon’s aunt said.

Hunt said O’Bannon had asked the suspect to get off the highway because they were about to start working.

O’Bannon was a contractor sitting in his car on I-264 getting ready to start his shift. The officer was blocking the expressway and protecting the crew at 2:30 in the morning.

Police and O’Bannon’s coworker and friend said out of nowhere a man popped up on the expressway and shot O’Bannon in the head. He then shot the officer through his patrol car hitting him in the left cheek.

Hours after the shooting, the family still tried to make sense of the situation.

Nezee Wilson, sister of the 37-year old, was in shock with a fogged gaze on her face.

”He was working at his job and got killed on his job,” Wilson said.

“All we got now is memories,” Hunt said.

O’Bannon worked two jobs to give his five children a good life while making his better.

Wilson said her brother turned his life around and got on the straight and narrow path. The family never thought this route would lead to being shot and killed.

”You shouldn’t be walking on the freeway, a man doing is his job, asking you to leave off the freeway,” Wilson said. “He didn’t do anything wrong. Maybe the man is some kind of mental state, who knows. But that wasn’t right.”

As far as the family is concerned, they said the gunman made a cowardly decision.

First responders pronounced O’Bannon dead at the scene. The gunman is in the hospital after being shot by the off-duty LMPD officer safeguarding the construction site.

”You ain’t gotta take nobody’s life. You ain’t gotta do that,” Hunt said. “Y’all took a loved one, he’s got five kids. Don’t do it. Be a man or woman, face it up. You messed up families; the police officer’s family, our family. We can’t get that back. He ain’t going to be here. Thanksgiving a few days away... what are we going to do?”

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