'It can happen to anyone.' Agonized family of worker shot, killed on job asks why
The family of Nicholas Kernan is desperately searching for answers to what seemed like random violence: his midday shooting death.
Earlier this week, Kernan was fatally shot in Corryville while on the job for Uptown Rental Properties.
"As a family, we used to watch crime shows on TV, but never in our wildest dreams would we imagine that it would be happening to us in real life," Katie Duncan, Kernan's stepdaughter, said during a Friday afternoon press conference at Heritage Oak Park in Mason.
Kernan, 43, was found shot in the 2900 block of Bellevue Avenue just after 3 p.m. on Tuesday, officials said. He was taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center where he died, police reported.
He was outside a property working on landscaping and cleaning up when the shooter approached him, Uptown Rental Properties President and CEO Dan Schimberg said. Kernan, who's listed as a field technician on the company's website, joined Uptown Rental Properties in March 2022.
Duncan said Kernan was an avid Beatles fan and loved playing the bass guitar, dirt track racing and Christmastime. He was also an organ donor, she said, adding that over 100 people have benefited from those donations.
She said Kernan loved the Carew Tower so much that he proposed to his wife, Melody Kernan, on the Downtown landmark's observation deck.
Kernan would've turned 44 on Memorial Day.
"It feels like a nightmare and we're profoundly saddened," Duncan said. "And if something like this can touch us, it can happen to anyone."
Cincinnati police have yet to make an arrest or release any information regarding a suspect. Capt. Steve Saunders said the investigation is still in its early stages and detectives are gathering surveillance video and other information.
Saunders declined to comment on specific details surrounding the shooting but he said there's been a lot of cooperation from the community.
"We want to bring this person to justice," he said.
Uptown Rental Properties is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 513-352-3040. The company also set up a GoFundMe page that has raised nearly $21,000 for Kernan's family as of Friday afternoon.
This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Family of slain landscaper 'profoundly saddened,' seeking answers