LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) — Statistically, this is already one of the deadliest years on record in Lexington with two more homicides over the holiday.
Lexington’s Chief of Police Lawrence Weathers says though no one’s been arrested for the two deadly shootings, he does not believe there is any threat to the city, and says in both cases he believes the victim and suspect knew each other.
“Lexington is a safe city and unfortunately some people make some choices that are unsafe,” says Chief Weathers.
A Christmas Eve shooting, followed by another shooting Christmas day, leaves two young men dead.
Police say 21-year old Jonathan Meristil was shot and killed at his apartment near UK’s campus off Transylvania Park Christmas Eve morning.
The coroner says Meristil was shot multiple times.
“He’s definitely one of my best friends. He’s an amazing kid I mean he’s been there for me through all kinds of stuff. I mean anytime I needed anything I could call him,” says Sam Coates about Meristil.
Coates says Meristil is from Haiti but had lived in Lexington for most of his life.
The Tates Creek High School graduate was studying graphic design. Coates say he was extremely talented.
“He didn’t deserve any of the things that happened to him,” says Coates.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Meristil’s family pay for his funeral.
“He’s gonna be missed,” says Coates.
Less than 30 hours later, police say 23-year-old Bertin Garcia-Jimenez was shot at an apartment complex off Alexandria Drive.
The coroner says he died from his injuries around 2 pm Christmas day.
Police are asking for the public’s help in both cases.
“Generally, there are people who know what’s going on and we need those people to come forward and tell us what’s going on,” says Chief Weathers.
With less than a week left in 2019, the city has already tied a record for homicides in a year since record-keeping began, with 28 total.