Father of murder victim Keira Holmes, gunned down

Published: Oct. 21, 2013 at 2:36 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 29, 2016 at 8:56 PM CDT
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New Orleans -- New Orleans police work to figure out who shot 25-year-old Rakeen Holmes to death. It happened at the corner of Eden and South Gayoso Streets Saturday night.

Holmes was the father of Keira Holmes, the toddler killed two years ago in broad daylight. Loved ones say Holmes was a good man who shouldn't have died.

Rakeen Holmes was a like a son to Reverend Lisa Fitzpatrick. "He was living with us after the death of his child. We were very close with his mother and his whole family, and he was ours," Fitzpatrick said.

In 2011, Holmes was devastated by the loss of his daughter, Keira. She was struck by a bullet intended for someone else, at the B.W. Cooper housing development, just days before her second birthday.

Fitzpatrick says she took Holmes in, and he quickly realized he only wanted the best for himself and his family, away from the violence. "He stood for peace. He stood for everything good in life," said Fitzpatrick.

Saturday night, Holmes life was cut short. A resident who heard the shooting tells FOX 8, "Sounded more like firecrackers so couple of minutes passed, saw some lights and I came to the front and saw a body lying on the ground."

Police say Holmes was shot in the face at the corner of Eden and South Gayoso Streets. Witnesses say he was there listening to music that was coming from a nearby vigil for another murdered resident.

Broadmoor homeowners we spoke to say there's been at least three recent shootings in their neighborhood.

For Reverend Fitzpatrick, this loss is especially hard. After helping Rakeen Holmes grieve the loss of his daughter, she's now grieving him. Fitzpatrick feels like that the senseless violence that's affected the Holmes family and so many others in New Orleans, is like a disease.

"I don't know, maybe we'll never know if there's a connection between Keira's death and Rakeen's death but what we have to remember is we all have a connection to every death, that they're all our sons and our daughters and maybe when we realize that we're all connected then we can begin to find the cure," Fitzpatrick said.