Family and friends of Kyle LeFlore, shocked and stung by his shooting death just hours before, sent up their love, prayers and goodbyes to him in a balloon release late Saturday afternoon.
About 200 people squeezed into the family’s shop, LeFlore’s New Look Fashion near 24th and Decatur Streets, before filing out onto 24th to release the red and gold balloons, LeFlore’s favorite colors.
He had been just days from moving to Arizona for a promotion in the Army. He was back in Omaha for a couple of weeks, visiting family and friends over the holidays before taking on the new position, said his brother Camren LeFlore.
Kyle was fatally shot about 1:45 a.m. Saturday at Reign Lounge near 30th and Fillmore Streets.
Paramedics performed CPR as they took him to the Nebraska Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead.
Police have not identified a suspect, and provided few details Saturday on the investigation.
“(Kyle) was with a couple of our friends and he left them inside to go outside to his car without them knowing,” Camren said. “The next thing you know my friends were finding out that he got shot in the parking lot. Not sure why, he was a good dude living the middle class American dream. He had no enemies of any kind.”
Kyle had joined the Army right after graduating from Omaha Northwest High School, his brother said. He married a few years later and was the father of a 5-year-old son named Kyle LeFlore Jr.
Before coming to Omaha for the visit, Kyle had been stationed in South Korea, where he worked in IT for the Army and performed in combat sports, Camren said.
When he lived in Omaha, Kyle worked in the family clothing store.
“Growing up, he had a great sense of humor, loved to wrestle and was a class clown,” his brother said. “He loved to give people advice and was constantly giving other people compliments. Many people saw him as a role model and wanted to follow in his steps.”
Camren, four other siblings and their father mourned together at Saturday’s impromptu gathering.
“He didn’t deserve to die,” Kyle’s father, Kay LeFlore, told the crowd.
“Pray for me,” he said. “My faith is shaken.”
Kyle’s sister Ronicka Johnson dropped to her knees and wept.
“They took my brother,” she cried.
After the balloon release, people went back into the warmth of the shop, walls lined with men’s hats and other accessories.
Several of the siblings — Johnson, Candi LeFlore, Gabriel LeFlore and Malena Pachano, all older siblings to Kyle — stood together and asked for people to come forward with information on the shooting, or for the shooter to surrender to police.
“Do the right thing, whoever did this, and turn yourself in,” Johnson said.
Other survivors include Kyle’s wife, Tasha LeFlore, and his mother, Monica LeFlore.
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