Michael J. Noud always seemed to make friends wherever he went, his father says.
The 27-year-old had something magnetic in his personality and a soft spot for those in trouble. As a convenience store clerk, he was liable to let a homeless person walk out with a free soda. He could stay on the phone with a suicidal friend for hours. People just liked him.
“He had a charm,” said Noud’s father, also named Michael Noud. “He just had the gift to make people feel better.”
The younger Noud was shot and killed last weekend in unincorporated Jackson County. Prosecutors have charged Robert Lee Haynes, 44, with murder. The shooting occurred in the driveway of Haynes’ home in the 8400 block of South Russell Road. Witnesses said Noud was involved in a dispute with a former girlfriend who was at the house.
“He was a good son,” Noud’s father said. “I don’t want him to be just another homicide.”
Noud grew up in Blue Springs, where he found some success on the Blue Springs High School swimming team.
Later, Noud struggled with personal demons and had trouble finding his way in the world, his father said. He worked at a convenience store and spent time as a bartender’s assistant at a local restaurant.
He liked flashy clothes and expensive sneakers. He loved his dog, a pit bull named Jixxer.
A couple of days before Noud died, he stopped by his father’s home to pick up some clothes. The father and son embraced and said they loved each other.
Noud’s father said he is glad they had that opportunity.
“I’d be a mess if that hadn’t happened,” he said.
After Noud died, his father received messages from many people who had befriended Noud over the years and missed him. It reassured the grieving father that his son made a positive impact in the world.
As for the person who killed Noud, the father said he wants to forgive but isn’t ready.
“I’m still struggling to do the Christian forgiveness thing. I still think I’ll get there.”