Lexington shooting victim remembered as happy, talented man

Joe Randolph with his pitbull, Heavy, who was often at his side
Joe Randolph with his pitbull, Heavy, who was often at his side

Family members described Joe Randolph as a happy-go-lucky man, a talented carpenter and a friend to many in his hometown of Carlisle.

Randolph, 48, was a caretaker to his grandmother, who lived next door to him on Simpson Avenue, until she died in 2011.

Friends and family don't know who would want to hurt Randolph, Lexington's first homicide victim of 2013.

"He would do anything for anybody," said his mother, Carolyn Randolph of Carlisle. "How such a thing could happen to someone like that I will never know."

Lexington police on Monday afternoon had not named any suspects and were releasing no new details about the slaying, police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said.

Randolph was found shot shortly after 5:30 p.m. Saturday at his home on Simpson Avenue, not far from South Broadway.

He died in the emergency room at University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center, according to the Fayette County coroner's office.

A Fayette District Court clerk said Monday that court records showed no criminal history for him.

Randolph lived on Simpson Avenue because his late grandmother had a home there, Carolyn Randolph said. He moved next door to help take care of her before she died

"He never was married, Randolph's mother said. "He would always laugh and say, 'I do well to take care of myself.' He just had his dog."

Randolph's pit bull, Heavy, was often by his side, said Randolph's brother-in-law Gary Eubanks of Carlisle.

Eubanks said Randolph was a talented carpenter, "a perfectionist" who had once built an underground home in Carlisle.

Eubanks said Randolph had many friends in Carlisle.

When he visited the area, Eubanks said, "It would take him an hour to get to our house for him stopping everywhere."

Ginny Daley, a University of Kentucky library manager in facilities management who lives on a street near Randolph's house, placed flowers and a card in his mailbox Sunday.

Daley said she didn't know Randolph but felt compelled to let his family know that he would be missed.

"This is very disturbing, as any murder would be," Daley said. "If it could happen to him — he seemed like such a low-key normal neighbor — then it could happen to anybody. That's just kind of scary.

Carolyn Randolph said she and other family members were meeting with a Lexington police detective Monday in hopes of getting more information.

"He didn't have to go like this," Gary Eubanks said, "We've got questions that need answers."

"We don't know why or who," Randolph's mother said.

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