Man charged in killing of Metro East man murdered while giving m - KMOV.com

Man charged in killing of Metro East man murdered while giving money

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Johnny Lovett. Credit: KMOV Johnny Lovett. Credit: KMOV
Keundray Kilpatrick Keundray Kilpatrick
CENTREVILLE, Ill. (KMOV.com) -

"I could still remember his smile, his love, his warm hugs," said Karla Perry.

With tears rolling down her face, Karla Perry hugs her mother. 

The pair, mourning the sudden loss of Perry's uncle, Johnny Lovett, at a gathering with several other family members. 

"When you saw him come in you knew that the party was going to start," said Perry. "You knew that you were going to be loved on."

Centreville Police told News 4 Lovett pulled his car over near the intersection of South 55th Street and Church Road in Centreville around 5:00 pm Friday evening to give money to a group of four young men. He was a block from home. 

Instead of taking his kind offering, officers said the group robbed and shot the 60-year-old, leaving him to die while his car rolled into a ditch and caught fire after hitting a tree.

"It was very heart-wrenching," said Perry. "It wasn't until they actually pulled the body out of the weeds and put him in a body bag that reality set in."

Police say Lovett knew at least one of his attackers. Officers took four people into custody, and charged Keundray Kilpatrick with first degree murder. The other three suspects were released but the investigation is ongoing.

Lovett was a Centreville native, husband, father to a teenage son and a member of Iron Workers Local Union 392.

His niece told News 4 she's found relief realizing even though he's no longer here, her memories of him remain.

"The memories, that's all we have to go on now," said Perry. "It's very unfortunate, but we do have the memories and we appreciate that. Not everyone has a chance to have memories with loved ones. We have great memories, and that's the most important thing."

Kilpatrick's bond has been set at $750,000.

Copyright 2017 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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