‘He had big dreams’

Just four days ago, Tara Richardson was helping her son, Keion Butler, 23, plan a grand party for her grandson’s sixth birthday.

Today, she’s planning a funeral for her son.

Butler was shot dead shortly before 6 p.m. on Tuesday on Amos Ferguson Street, off Palmetto Avenue, Coconut Grove.

Police said he and a group of people were sitting in a yard in the area when they were approached by two men who fired shots in their direction and then fled.

Butler died at the scene.

Keion Butler.

“He was a loving, outspoken person, very mannerly, and before you see him he would hail you, you know that’s Keion,” said Richardson.

“He had big dreams. He had a big mind. He always wanted his family to be up. And he loved his son.”

The mother of five said she was driving home from work with her husband when her other son called her to tell her his brother had been shot.

“Mommy, someone shoot Keion,” she was told.

“He bleeding from the ear. We think he’s dead.”

She said she could not describe the feeling when she got that call, but that she “wouldn’t wish it on her worst enemy”.

“I got weak,” she recalled.

“I didn’t know what to do. It was like something just come over me. I can’t explain it.”

Butler’s step-father, Jason Richardson, said he struggled to process the news.

“You know your heart beat stops, your stomach breaks down, like diarrhea, all kind of things just going through your head, and then we just was trying to get to the scene,” he said.

“That was just hard from there.”

The couple said the family is not coping well.

Tara Richardson said the last time she saw her son was earlier that morning. She said she went in his room while he was sleeping, rubbed his head and then told him she was leaving for work.

The latest incident marks the 55th murder for the year in the country.

But to the family, he was more than a number. Speaking to the state of crime in the country, Butler’s step-father said, “No one respects the value of life anymore.

“People don’t feel it until it happens to them. That saying has never been more true. He who feels it, knows it.”

He continued, “Any parent would be worried right now.

“That was our fear, that something like this could happen and then to actually see it happen, it’s like it’s coming out of a dream book.

“Right now it feels like this ain’t real.”

The family said they hope for justice in Butler’s murder.

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Sloan Smith

Sloan covers national news for The Nassau Guardian. Sloan officially joined the news team in September 2016 but interned at The Nassau Guardian while studying journalism at the University of The Bahamas. Education: Vrije Universiteit Brussel (University of Brussels), MA in Mass Communications

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