Father of homicide victim pleas with youth to stop violence while waiting for justice

Posted at 6:44 PM, Dec 20, 2021

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — In January, 20-year old Kobe Persley was shot in a park on Harvard Lane. Every time another young person is shot and killed in the city, his father says it takes him right back to that horrible day.

Elijah Persley will tell you, there's no amount of time that can heal the wound of a parent mourning a child gone too soon.

"He was a good kid. Very smart student. He was very good in basketball," said Elijah Persley. "It's still rough. I think about them all the time."

Elijah's son Kobe Persley was just 20 when police say he was shot multiple times on January 25, 2021.

He died a month later from the injuries.

"He just went down the wrong road. He ran the wrong type of people," said Elijah.

But Elijah also knows that just because a young person goes down the wrong road doesn't mean they have to stay there.

"I was a troubled teen, but I changed everything around, so I know what these kids are going through," he said.

That's why after waiting for justice for months and still seeing homicide after homicide, he decided he couldn't stay silent any longer.

"I just can't believe this is happening to these kids. And I feel for the parents too. Because I know exactly what they're going through," said Elijah.

Lexington police say there are still working on solving Kobe's murder even though the detective's caseload continues to increase with every homicide.

There are eight homicide detectives and one cold case detective in their office.

As Elijah prepares for his first Christmas without his son, this is the message he wants to spread far and wide.

"They just need to get them a job and stay out the streets, stay positive," he said. "A'int no life right there. I mean no life at all."

It's a message he wishes he could've gotten to his son before it was too late.

However, he's hoping for the day when he can face his son's murder in court and finally get justice.

He's offering a $2,000 reward for any information that could help Kobe's case.