A 39-year-old Kansas City, Kan., man killed Tuesday was the father of three who had just started a new job a week before he was found dead in a Kansas City alley, the man’s mother said Saturday.
Lovell J. Smith, of Kansas City, Kan., was found dead Tuesday afternoon in an alley in the 3600 block of Roberts Street in Northeast Kansas City.
On Saturday, Smith’s mother, Shirley M. Hattley, said Smith started a new job Oct. 17 driving a forklift after a few months of unemployment. She described the father of three as a hardworking, dedicated man with an outgoing personality.
“He always had a smile on his face,” Hattley said.
Smith’s homicide was the city’s 117th of the year.
“We’re devastated,” Hattley said.
Smith was proud to be back in the workforce. He planned to save money for a new place to live, she said.
“He was so excited to get back on his feet,” Hattley said. “When he found that job, that built him back up.”
Smith graduated from Wyandotte High School in 1996 and played football at Independence (Kan.) Community College, his mother said.
Police have not said how Smith was killed and family members were unsure how he died. The family has started a GoFundMe page to help cover funeral expenses.
Smith’s death was another blow to the family, Hattley said. She lost her mother last year.
“Before she died, she told us to take care of our family,” the 66-year-old Kansas City, Kan. resident said. “And that’s what I’m trying to do, hold everybody up.”
A home-going celebration for Smith is Nov. 11 at Calvary Temple Pentecostal Church in Kansas City, Kan.