NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Shot and left on the side of the road in South Nashville: that’s not how the parents of Kelvin Stowers Jr. — known by loved ones as “KJ” — want their son remembered.
“That’s my first born, that’s my only son,” Kelvin Stowers Sr. said.
A makeshift memorial on the side of the road now marks the spot where KJ’s life ultimately ended over the weekend.
“I couldn’t believe somebody that would do my son like that,” Kelvin told News 2. “It’s just really heartbreaking.”
Kelvin said the two shared a relationship that extended well beyond a namesake.
“He was a great athlete, he played multiple sports, he was good at everything he did. He was never a kid that’s ever been in the streets,” Kelvin described. “There weren’t no kind of drugs, selling drugs, or none of that stuff. Just a great, humble, respectful kid.”
At 26 years old, KJ was just learning to navigate fatherhood himself with a baby boy.
“He’ll never get a chance to grow up with his father,” Kelvin said, referring to his grandson. “It’s devastating.”
According to the Metro Nashville, KJ was shot and left in the roadway along Keeley Drive at approximately 5:20 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23.
“That’s really the most hurtful thing to me in this whole situation is how they did him,” Kelvin explained. “The type of son that I got — a loveable, respectful son — for somebody to just do him like that and then just throw him in the street like he was some trash.”
Authorities said KJ was in a Nissan Rogue SUV when he was shot by 28-year-old David Henry, who then pushed him out of the car and drove off.
“For them to do that to my son, it just really, it just done hurt my whole soul,” KJ’s father said.
Tuesday, Sept. 26 marked the first step towards justice for the Stowers family as the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) tracked down Henry in Jefferson County.
While Kelvin is grateful for an arrest in the case, he said it won’t change what’s been taken from his family.
“Prayer is the main thing I need right now,” Kelvin told News 2. “That’s the only thing that can get me through this is God, that’s the only thing. Just got to look to Him for guidance and strength.”
Detectives have sworn out an arrest warrant charging Henry with criminal homicide, saying he will be returned to Nashville in the near future.