‘We’ll never let him forget his dad’: Family member opens up about Salem murder

Published: Nov. 11, 2020 at 10:55 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Through the eyes of a 4-year-old boy, tragedy doesn’t make sense.

“Daddy’s an angel and he’ll tell you that Daddy is an angel. And you know we’ve had our talk with him and explained, but you don’t know what to say to him," said Erika Stinnett, though tears. Erika is Kaleb Turner’s aunt on his mom’s side. Kaleb Turner is now without a father.

27-year-old Rico Turner was shot and killed at a Salem shopping center Monday afternoon. Kaleb was there.

“He had actually just gone to his dad’s Sunday night, so he was going to stay there a couple days while my sister works, they had a really good schedule worked out.”

Erika’s sister was married to Rico, and they had Kaleb together almost five years ago. Though Kaleb’s parents weren’t together anymore, according to Erika, they were great at co-parenting. Erika described Rico as having a warm soul and a loving personality.

“Rico didn’t meet a stranger. He was always smiling.”

Stinnett also said Turner was the best dad.

“He was crazy about Kaleb. From the moment my sister found out she was pregnant, and it was a boy especially, he was ecstatic. They both loved basketball, so he was always doing that with Kaleb."

This tragedy doesn’t make sense for grownups either.

Stinnett and the rest of Kaleb’s tribe are doing what they can to explain, and to make sure this little boy still feels his dad’s love.

"We’ll never let Kaleb forget him, We’ll do everything we can, we told him Kaleb’s in the sky, and he walks outside, looks up and says “I love you Daddy, I miss you Daddy!” said Stinnett.

Stinnett said she is thankful for all the thoughts and prayers her family has received since Monday. If you would like to help the family, you can do so here.

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