LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — A church community is mourning the death of an important member of their family.
Police say 44-year-old Cornelius Allen was the victim of a shooting that happened on Monday on Hollow Creek Road. Lexington police have arrested a 17-year-old suspect in the shooting.
Longtime friend Lucian Booker says he first met Allen 20 years ago. He says the man friends called, "Neil" was looking for a church family.
"That was the beginning of a brotherhood that not even death can break," said Booker.
Booker says Allen found just that at New Day Community Church, where Allen later served as an ordained Elder. Booker is senior pastor at the church, and their bond was built on faith and family.
"Neil actually was the first person who held all four of my children," said Booker.
Booker described Neil as a lightbulb in the church community.
"How you perceive things, the way it feels, everything changes when you're in light. And Neil was that beacon of light for many," said Booker.
That light of life is why Booker could only use one word to describe how he felt after learning about his brother's death.
"Numb. Just numb," said Booker. "He impacted so many. He was encouraging. He was one to uplift and try to build others up. Neil's heart was for people."
Booker said Allen wore his faith on his sleeve, and he was always quoting Scripture. This Sunday, Allen will not be at their service, but he won't be far from the community's heart.
"I would just tell everyone just hold on, and God will get us through this," said Booker.