Teen's shooting death leaves family grieving

aclark@herald-leader.comNovember 25, 2009 

Ali Shalash was always next to his mother when he was a child.

Gwen Perkins remembers times when Ali would scurry into bed with her and ask to talk.

"He was a mama's boy," Perkins said Tuesday outside the Islamic Center of Lexington. A few feet away, her son lay in a hearse, waiting to be taken to a cemetery.

Ali was shot in the head about 2 p.m. Monday at 2048 Dorset Drive, according to the Fayette County coroner's office. He was taken to University of Kentucky Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 7:05 p.m. Monday. He was 17.

Police have made no arrests in the shooting. The case is still under investigation.

"I'll be doing better once I get some closure on what happened to my son," Perkins said.

Ali was the son of Osama Shalash, who was in his mid-20s when he was shot and killed outside the Perkins Restaurant on Richmond Road in 1997.

But Tuesday was not about Osama Shalash, Perkins said. "This is about my baby."

Dozens of friends and family members gathered at Care Cremation and Funeral Services, which handled funeral arrangements, and the Islamic Center where traditional Muslim services were held.

"He is loved by a lot of people," Perkins said.

Perkins said Ali loved to roller-skate, play basketball and sing.

"Any time you saw him, he was singing," Perkins said.

Friends said Ali also enjoyed video games, especially Call of Duty, and hanging out with his friends. He was earning his GED.

"I just love him," his sister Israh Shalash said.

Ali's nephew, 7-year-old Quayveon Perkins, said he liked to wrestle and play with his uncle.

"He was a nice uncle and I love him," Quayveon said.

Reach Ashlee Clark at (859) 231-1443 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 1443.

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