Nearly 50 people gathered Friday night on Greenleaf Drive in Lexington to comfort one another and share stories of a man who was killed earlier this week.
Austin Murphy, 29, was fatally shot on Monday and his family and friends said at a vigil Friday that his death was senseless.
On the same day Murphy was killed, Curtis Flora, 65, was charged with murder in connection with his death, according to police. Flora told investigators he was the shooter and said he’d been in an ongoing dispute with Murphy. Flora and Murphy reportedly lived on the same street.
Jerry Walls, whose granddaughter had been dating Austin for 11 years, said Murphy was a good man who had a smile that could cheer up anyone. Walls lived in the same house as Murphy, where the shooting occurred.
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“He was a good person,” Walls said. “He had things that weren’t right and Brittany (his girlfriend) was going through struggles, but they were hanging in there together.”
Murphy had a daughter, and Walls said she is grateful she was away from the house when he was killed.
“He didn’t deserve (this), it was horrible,” Walls said. “But I know Austin is in heaven.”
Austin’s girlfriend, Brittany Hager, opened the vigil by telling their daughter that Murphy would always be with her. She also prayed for peace for everyone affected by Murphy’s death.
“Everybody here knows how Austin could touch your heart just by smiling at you,” Hager said.
As everyone gathered to remember Murphy, Walls said something has to be done about violence, particularly involving young people.
“This is affecting so many families, this has got to stop somewhere,” Walls said. “For people to just walk up … It’s just not right. I just don’t understand, there’s just no reason.”