MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Shelbyville family is asking for prayers as they prepare to bury their son following a deadly shooting in Murfreesboro last week.

The Murfreesboro Police Department said robbery may have been the motive behind the shooting that killed 26-year-old Christopher Jones-McClean and left his roommate in critical condition on Thursday, Oct. 12.

As Jones-McClean’s relatives gathered before a private service on Wednesday, Oct. 18, they reflected on his personality. They said he had a certain mystique, describing him as reserved, witty, loyal, and naturally athletic.

“The way he would story tell was amazing, because he would have you laughing before he even could finish his story and just he was just so goofy,” shared his cousin, Ah’Mari Dandy, adding that their relationship was more like brothers.

According to Jones-McClean’s parents, while they may be biased, everyone loved Chris.

“Everybody I talked to almost sounds like a broken record. ‘Chris don’t bother nobody, man,’ ‘Chris is so cool and laid back, man,’ ‘Chris is so quiet,’ you know, you hear the same things, but you appreciate it and you appreciate it more because not only do you see it, but other people see it,” his father, Ehnrico McClean, explained.

The incident happened at Jones-McClean’s home in the 2000 block of Cason Lane. Authorities said a witness saw two masked men approach Jones-McClean and the other victim in the garage and demand money before opening fire.

“Confused,” “lost,” “heartbroken,” “soul-shattered,” and “vengeful” were among the words Jones-McClean’s father, sister, and cousin bounced off one another in the aftermath of his death.

“Life instantly just changed, instantly. It’s Friday the 13th, 3 o’clock in the morning, Friday the 13th, you find out your baby boy’s murdered and then that becomes your reality. Waking up is the hard part now; going to sleep is the mercy. Waking up is the hard part ’cause it’s real when you wake up. He really ain’t here no more,” McClean recalled.

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According to Jones-McClean’s mother, Kimberly Thompson, the turn of events doesn’t add up.

“For somebody coming into his home and shooting him in his own garage, it doesn’t make any sense,” she said.

The whole family is experiencing a world of emotions following this senseless act. For Jones-McClean’s father, he’s feeling vengeful.

“I want to have a conversation with the killers alone, but the sad part is that maybe years ago I needed to have a conversation with the killers’ fathers so that we all did a better job of raising our boys so that our boys ain’t seen out here. I don’t know how old these killers are, but they somebody’s babies,” McClean explained.

The loss will forever leave a void in the family’s hearts.

“I gave him a Bible for his birthday, and in the Bible, I wrote, ‘This is the most important book that I’ll ever give you,’ and I told him in the Bible, as I wrote, I told him, ‘The things that I learned late in life, I want you to learn early, and this is your roadmap to your salvation,” Thompson said, pointing to the handwritten message in the book.

Jones-McClean’s mother is comforted knowing he is in a better place, while they continue to pray for justice.

“We just need some answers, need somebody that knows something to say something because this was somebody’s son. This was my son. Now I have to go my life without my son, and it’s not fair,” Thompson told News 2 Wednesday. “He’s supposed to bury me, I’m not supposed to bury him, but I have to do it tomorrow and I’m not ready.”

While his parents are still mourning, they plan to celebrate Jones-McClean’s life with hopes their story will serve as a wake-up call, teaching others to value life and stop the violence. 

“I hope that somehow out of this madness, we could do something positive with it,” McClean stated.

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The family also thanked the community for the support following the deadly shooting.

“There’s a lot of friends, a lot of family, a lot of my friends that I’ve known for longer than I’ve known my son, reach out to me. I don’t want to forget them, I appreciate them. Each and every one of y’all. Each and every one that had a love for my son, had a moment with my son, had a picture with my son, you know, continue to share those stories and those memories. Keep his memory alive,” Jones-McClean’s father said.

Jones-McClean was known to wear white Air Force 1 shoes and a white t-shirt, so his family urges those in attendance for his Shelbyville funeral on Thursday, Oct. 19 to do the same in his honor.

Meanwhile, police told News 2 they are following all leads that come in as the investigation into Jones-McClean’s death continues. Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact Detective David Miller at 629-201-5662.