‘It tore us up as a family, my kids are very broken’: Mother searches for answers in son’s New Year’s Eve murder

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Around the world the new year is a time to celebrate, make resolutions, and look ahead to the next 365 days.

One mother, can’t help but look back. On Jan. 1, 2019, Patricia Morris-Shelby learned she’d have to bury her son.

“Getting a phone call saying my child is dead. That is the worst New Year I could ever experience,” said Morris-Shelby. “I just tell him it’s been a whole year, and I miss him so much.”

Kentrell Morris, 27, was out celebrating on New Year’s Eve at Cole’s Place, a popular west Louisville nightclub. It is not exactly clear what transpired that night, but Morris was found dead, shot multiple times in an alley near the establishment.

“I asked him, did my son suffer? Cause I wanted to know, did my child suffer? And he said, ‘No.’ He said I think he through his hand up in the air, the bullet went through his hand, hit him in his cheek bone, he said he got his brain stem. When he fell, he was dead,” Morris-Shelby said.

Patricia says he was out with friends that night, still frustrated that none have spoken up. She doesn’t know who pulled the trigger, but her maternal instinct tells her he was the target.

“I just feel like they over killed him,” said Morris-Shelby. “It tore us up as a family, my kids are very broken.”

There are reminders of Kentrell placed by his family scattered throughout Louisville. Like a cross, still standing a year later, just mere feet away from where he was killed. Morris-Shelby also regularly maintains her son’s headstone. Kentrell Morris’ headstone sits high above the others.

“He was neat, so I just keep it, keep it the way he would want it,” said Morris-Shelby. “I wanted something to stand out and stand tall, because he stood out and stood tall. And I wanted something to shine, because he shined.”

Patricia still has the last text Kentrell sent to her before he died, the message reads, “love always, your son Kentrell. See you tomorrow.”

“I’ll hold onto it forever and ever,” Morris-Shelby said.

Morris-Shelby is asking the community to come forward and help her find justice for her son.

“Somebody knows something. Know what took place, what happened, and the reason why it happened,” Morris-Shelby said.

New Year’s Eve is one of the busiest nights of the year. Were you around Cole’s Place? Do you have information into what happened to Kentrell on New Year’s Eve 2018?

Call Crime Stoppers at 582-CLUE

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