A few hours before Darnell Bates was killed, his mother, Teresa Bates, dropped him off at work and gave him a chicken dish.
She also had made her son banana pudding and a caramel cake, which "he had begged" her for. This was the last memory she has of him.
"He was my heart," she said of the second of her three boys. "I know he's in glory now. He's watching us. ... He was loving, caring, sensitive and a momma's boy."
Bates, 36, was shot and killed at his home in the 400 block of Addie Street about 4:45 a.m. Sunday when two men forced their way into the house.
Bates recently was promoted to general manager of Goo Goo Car Wash on North Limestone after working there for several years. Outside of work, Bates enjoyed cooking and eating spaghetti; hanging out with his 11-year-old daughter, Jayde Johnson, at the mall; and going to amusement parks. Bates also has a son, his mother said.
As of Monday, police still were investigating the shooting with limited descriptions of the men. No arrests had been made.
Police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said a witness told officers that he was asleep in the back of the house when he heard a struggle. He rushed into the front room to find Bates fighting with two masked men wearing dark clothing.
Bates was shot in the stomach during the struggle. He was rushed to University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital, where he was pronounced dead later Sunday morning.
Police originally went to the scene for a report of a burglary with shots fired, Roberts said.
Bates' death was the city's 13th homicide of the year and at least the seventh shooting in two weeks.
Last weekend there were six reported shootings resulting in four people being injured. No arrests have been made in those incidents, Roberts said.
"We are going to investigate all of the situations," she said, "but again, as we said last week, the people involved weren't being cooperative, so it makes it incredibly difficult to solve the crime and nobody wants to talk about what happened."
Roberts said police do not have any suspects in Bates' shooting. She would not discuss possible motives.
However, those close to Bates have offered some information to police "to the best of their ability" about the shooting, she said. The men who broke into Bates' house wanted money, Roberts said.
According to a search of records in Fayette County courts, Bates had a few run-ins with police, including minor traffic violations and possession of a forged instrument.
In 1999, he was convicted of third-degree rape and four counts of sexual misconduct after engaging in consensual sex with a 14-year-old girl, according to court documents.
His mother said she would miss the intangible things about her son, including "his smile and kind heart."
"There would never be a time or a day that I wouldn't tell him I love him before we hung the phone," she said.
Funeral services will be at noon Friday at Bethsaida Baptist Church. Visitation will be 10 a.m. to noon. Smith & Smith Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.