Oldham County mother remembers her son after he was shot, killed in Washington, D.C.

Oldham County resident Chandra Emerson remembers the life of her son after he was shot and killed in Washington, D.C.
Published: Jul. 6, 2023 at 7:52 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - An Oldham County Schools teacher was shot and killed during a family trip to Washington, D.C.

D.C. Metro Police said 25-year-old Maxwell Emerson was seen walking on the campus of Catholic University around 8 a.m. on Wednesday when he was shot and killed by a man he was walking with.

The suspect ran off and has yet to be found.

Emerson’s mother said they were visiting D.C. for the 4th of July holiday and Maxwell was on his way to a professional development workshop when his life was taken away.

Chandra Emerson described her son as a go-getter that walked by faith and went by the mantra “champions find a way”.

A mindset he used every day in his roles as a teacher and wrestling coach at Oldham County High School.

Now, the mindset she said is holding her family together.

Chandra told WAVE News that she received a Snapchat message from Max before he was shot, but didn’t know what to make of it at first.

After taking another look, she realized it was a last call for help.

The jumbled-up message said “Help bring ribbed at cub point” but Chandra later recognized it as “Help I’m being robbed at gunpoint.”

A few hours later, a detective came to her room and told her news no one wants to hear.

“My other son, his twin brother, was with me and we held each other and cried and just kept saying that we have to go on and that we have to lead as Max would want us to be,” Chandra said.

In a press conference Thursday, D.C. Metro said they’re still investigating the relationship between Emerson and the shooter, but Chandra said there was no relationship.

“No, that is not true,” Chandra said. “The only thing I could think of, because I saw that too, is that Max is so friendly that we go around, and he might’ve just been saying hi and the person, I don’t know, but we don’t know anybody here.”

Chandra said the hours following Max’s death have been the hardest of her life, but her faith and support from others have kept her going.

She said she has received a lot of calls and love from her Oldham County community and Thursday morning, Catholic University held a vigil in Max’s honor.

“Support has been phenomenal and that’s what has made us be able to continue a little bit stronger each time,” Chandra said.

While she knows the days without Max won’t get easier, Chandra said it gives her solace to know they were able to enjoy one last great trip together adventuring through the nation’s Capital and said she will always cherish the moments they shared.

“We had 25 amazing, blessed years with him,” Chandra said. “And we’re waiting and hopefully, we’re going to see in the years to come what God will accomplish through this tragedy because I know that he will.”

Maxwell was a Social Studies Teacher and Assistant Wrestling Coach at Oldham County High School.

Oldham County Schools released a statement Thursday saying:

“This is a devastating loss for Oldham County High School and the entire OCS community. The Emerson family has deep roots in our school system, so this tragedy touches many of our students and staff. Max was a young teacher, but he made it his goal to form lasting relationships with his students in order to foster a life-long love of learning. He had a passion for creating exciting, creative, and rigorous lessons to keep students engaged. Max was also a wrestling coach and devoted much time to supporting and coaching our students. He was loved by students and respected by his peers. Grief counselors will be available at the school to help any students or staff who need help processing this loss.”

Oldham County Schools

This shooting is still under investigation, but Chandra said she and her family are working to forgive the suspect because that’s what Maxwell would do and want.

D.C. Metro Police are offering a $25,000 reward for information that leads them to the shooter.

There is a GoFundMe running for the family to bring Maxwell home and pay for his funeral expenses.