Family and friends of a Walnut Hills man gathered at the site of his murder Thursday night to remember him and to pray for justice in his killing. “He wasn’t no bad person. He got along with everybody. He looked out for people if he could,” said Debbie Hampton, Kendall Hampton’s mother.
Hampton, 26, had an eight-year-old daughter. He was shot Saturday night as he walked to the Dairy Mart on E. McMillan St. His family and friends held a candlelight vigil in the parking lot of the Dairy Mart Thursday night.
His best friend, Curtis Lowe, said he and other friends spent time with Hampton Saturday night before he was killed. He said Hampton returned home earlier in the evening and said a man had threatened him. “He asked us a question. He asked me and my cousin, he said 'if I get into a fight I want to know if y’all are going to come downstairs?'And I was like why would you ask me something like that? I was like yeah I got your back,” Lowe said.
Lowe said Hampton reported the threat to police. A couple of hours later he was shot as he walked from his apartment to the Dairy Mart. "I just feel like it was unfair for them to take my friend's life like that. For what," Lowe asked.
Hampton's friends and family have been asking that question all week. They wondered why anyone would kill a man they called a loving son, father and friend.
Cincinnati Police told Local 12 News at the scene of the shooting Saturday night that Hampton was known to work as a transgender prostitute in the neighborhood. But his family and friends said Hampton never worked as a prostitute. “Although he lived his lifestyle different from others, he was still a joy to be around. He would help anyone if he could. He’s not someone who went around and just caused trouble for anyone," said Sonia Hampton, Kendall's cousin.
"He was never a prostitute," said Timothy Shoulders, a friend of Hampton's. He added, "Everybody know he do hair for a living. He makes his money doing hair."
As a tribute to their friend who loved working as a hair stylist, some of his friends dyed their hair red as a tribute to Hampton. Red was Kendall Hampton's favorite color. They also lit candles for their friend and talked about the things they miss about him. But most of all, they prayed that someone would come forward with information about Kendall Hampton's murder. "I'm sure whoever did this can't sleep at night. And they won't sleep at night because you took away someone's family member. You took away someone's friend," Sonia Hampton added.
Choking back tears, Debbie Hampton pleaded for someone to come forward. "I want that person to be caught. He didn't deserve it. He didn't deserve it."
Anyone with information about Kendall Hampton's death can call Crimestoppers at 352-3040. Callers remain anonymous.
Kendall Hampton's friends planned to hold a cookout in his honor Friday night at 6:30 p.m. at the Dairy Mart parking lot.