Mother of man slain outside Lexington saloon said she couldn't 'have had a better son'

jwarren@herald-leader.com, kward1@herald-leader.comJune 23, 2014 

Jonathan and Megan Price of Versailles attended the Marine Corps Ball in November. Jonathan Price, 26, was killed, and Megan Price was wounded when they were shot early Saturday in Lexington.

MARK MAHAN

  • Weekend shootings in Lexington

    ■ A 17-year-old girl was shot in the neck about 1:30 a.m. Saturday by a man who then stole the car in which she and a 16-year-old friend were riding. Police said the man, wearing a dark shirt with a bandanna around his neck, fired two shots into car and ordered the girls to get out. He drove away in the car, which was found wrecked and abandoned at Parkers Mill and Bowman Mill roads.

    ■ Also about 1:30 a.m. Saturday, Jonathan Thomas Price was fatally shot in the back and his wife, Megan Price, was shot in the leg in the parking lot at Woodhill Shopping Center.

    ■ About 12:55 a.m. Sunday, police found Charles Wright, 32, in the street at 154 East Sixth Street with multiple gunshot wounds. He died about 1:20 a.m. at University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital. Police said witnesses reported seeing a man with shoulder-length dreadlocks and a white T-shirt leaving the area in a silver car.

    ■ About 2:30 a.m. Sunday, police found a man with a gunshot wound to the chest at Sixth Street and Shropshire Avenue. The victim, who was not identified, went to the hospital with an injury that did not appear to be life-threatening, police said. Roberts said the victim told officers he'd been shot by a man with dreadlocks.

  • Can you help?

    Anyone with information about any of this weekend's shootings is asked to call Lexington police at (859) 258-3600 or contact Bluegrass Crime Stoppers.

VERSAILLES — As friends and family came and went from her home Monday evening, Debbie Price said she would miss the sweet smiles and tender hugs from her son, Jonathan Thomas Price, who was shot and killed early Saturday.

"I don't think I could ever have had a better son," she said. "He was such a blessing."

Price, 26, was a Marine who worked at Link-Belt and attended Southland Christian Church.

"If Jonathan was your friend, he wasn't just your friend. He was your best friend," his mother said. "You could count on him."

Monday Lexington police released new details in Price's shooting and asked for help in solving that crime and several other shootings in Lexington during the weekend.

Police said there was a second suspect in Price's shooting, which occurred about 1:30 a.m. outside Austin City Saloon. Price's wife, Megan, was injured in the shooting.

Police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said the shooting was part of a robbery. An earlier report from police had indicated the shooting occurred after a panhandler asked the couple for money.

Police have said Price, of Versailles, was shot in the back and Megan Price was shot in the leg in the parking lot of Woodhill Shopping Center after they had left the saloon.

Police said the couple were approached by two people, one of whom had a gun, who demanded money. One suspect was described as a man with shoulder-length dreadlocks, wearing a white T-shirt. He had a silver handgun, Roberts said. She said police did not have a description of the second suspect.

Services for Jonathan Price will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday at Parrott & Ramsey Funeral Home in Campbellsville. Visitation will be at 11 a.m.

There will be a gathering of family and friends from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Woodford Community Christian Church.

The release of new information about the robbery and shooting came hours after investigators said they needed the public to help them pin down more details in a series of shootings over the weekend.

No arrests had been made as of Monday, and investigators have provided only general descriptions of the shooters in each case, Roberts said.

"We need the assistance of the public, and if they have any information, saw anything or heard anything, we're asking them to call the police," she said.

Also, Roberts said, investigators don't think the fatal shootings of Price and Charles Wright, found shot multiple times outside 154 East Sixth Street early Sunday, were related. She also said it was "too soon" to say whether there was a connection between Wright's shooting and that of a man found with a gunshot wound about 90 minutes later at Sixth Street and Shropshire Avenue.

Overall, she said, the weekend's shootings were unusual, both for the extreme violence involved and for the actions of the perpetrators.

For example, she said, a teenage girl who was shot early Saturday was wounded by a man who first fired two shots, then ordered her and her friend out of her car.

"It's not very often that we have someone who actually shoots somebody when they're trying to steal their car," Roberts said. "In this case, the man fired first and then made the request, which is very unusual."

Jim Warren: (859) 231-3255. Twitter: @heraldleader.Karla Ward: (859) 231-3314. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety.

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