EXCLUSIVE: Mother of construction worker killed in random attack talks about son’s impact

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 6:11 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - For reasons still unknown, a man shot and killed a construction worker while he was on the job last Friday on the Watterson Expressway.

The LMPD officer who was protecting the worker is still recovering after he was also shot in the face while on patrol.

WAVE 3 News spoke exclusively with the victim’s mother about the father of five, and his senseless death.

A day after funeral arrangements, Frederick O’Bannon’s mother Anita and her family were unfolding memories.

“He had an aura about him and you could see it behind him,” Anita said. “He had that glow.”

O’Bannon’s brother, Jasper Hunt. remembers his youngest sibling as a true Gemini.

“He had our back,” Hunt said. “We had each other’s back.”

O’Bannon’s glow dimmed while working construction early around 2:20 a.m. Friday morning.

While O’Bannon was in his car, 25-year-old Keyshaun Stewart is accused of ambushing and shooting O’Bannon in the head, then firing into an LMPD patrol car and striking an officer inside in the face.

O’Bannon’s coworker said no one at the site knew Stewart, saying he came out of nowhere.

Stewart is a convicted felon he was put on parole two years ago.

“He never should have been out,” Anita said.

With his injury, the officer still chased after Stewart off the expressway and onto Dixie Highway firing at Stewart and helping to get him into custody.

O’Bannon died on the expressway.

His mother said her son was a workaholic; always coming or going to work. His kids were his motivation.

O’Bannon had dedicated his life to God in January and was baptized three weeks ago, his mother said. He missed out on family time in the past and was determined to be the glue. He was planning the family Christmas dinner, with a special request for hot water cornbread and fried fish.

Anita said knowing the man O’Bannon became was priceless.

Although the coroner and officers identified O’Bannon’s body at the scene, Anita said she felt the tranquility once she laid eyes on him.

“When I say I’m at peace I got to see my baby yesterday‚” Anita said. “I hadn’t seen him since all this happened. When I walked in that room and saw his face, there was not a worry on his face, he was at peace.”

Anita said Stewart impacted three lives. His own...

“I have to forgive him because,” Anita said. “I can’t walk around with that heaviness in my heart.”

The officer who is still recovering...

“Thank you, thank you,” Anita said. “I thank him so much for being there for my son.”

And lastly her son...

“I know where he’s at,” Anita said. “He’s good, he’s alright.”

Stewart is facing several charges including murder and attempted murder of a police officer.

Louisville Paving and Construction let the family know not to stress about O’Bannon’s final send off and that the company was paying for it all.

Anita shared a memorial the company had made in O’Bannon’s honor on social media, a picture of a safety vest and hard hat with O’Bannon’s name just outside the company’s training center on Terra View Trail.

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