Man shot Friday was felon working on turning his life around

FUneral services set for wednesday

jkegley@herald-leader.comJune 9, 2010 

Funeral services have been arranged for a Lexington father gunned down on Elsmere Alley Friday.

A visitation for Stephen Kavanaugh Jr., 33, will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Parks and Hughes Funeral Home, 305 Geri Lane, in Richmond.

Parks and Hughes will handle the funeral at 2 p.m. Thursday.

Kavanaugh's father, Stephen Kavanaugh Sr., remembered his son as a caring father of two and an ideal son — at least while he was in his father's company.

"I'm not a naive parent," Kavanaugh said. "Children can behave differently" in public than they do around family, he said.

Kavanaugh refused to speculate on why his son was shot or who shot him.

"He was a compassionate person, but that compassion was also passion, and that could have hurt him," he said. "If he saw something he thought wasn't right ... he became very passionate about it, sometimes with anger."

Kavanaugh said he knew his son occasionally got into trouble, citing a 1997 felony arrest, but said his son loved and respected his family.

In 1997, the younger Kavanaugh was arrested in the parking lot of the Nicholasville Road Target after a purse-snatching at Fayette Mall. He was tackled by police while holding the purse and with keys to a stolen car in his pocket.

Kavanaugh Jr. pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary and receiving stolen property. He served three years of a six-year sentence before being granted parole.

The father said his son's life had been improving since then. He had recently gotten a new job with a fireplace-installation service, was in a happy relationship and had celebrated the birth of his first son, Stephen Kavanaugh III.

Police were still searching Tuesday afternoon for suspects in the shooting.

Police said anyone with information about the shooting should call Lexington police at (859) 259-3600 or Bluegrass Crime Stoppers at (859) 253-2020.

Crime Stoppers has offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the shooter.

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