Family and friends of Larry Barnett Jr. replay the events of Friday night in vivid detail over and over, searching for answers to why he shot his girlfriend and then turned the gun on himself.
His mother, Diana Barnett wrote in an e-mail to the Register that her son and his girlfriend, 24-year-old Rachelle Baskey, left her home minutes before the tragic event. He seemed hopeful for the future, she recalled.
That same night Barnett's friend, Lamarqus Carr said he received a phone call from the 25-year-old who said that things weren't right and he needed to talk.
They never had that talk. At about 10:30 p.m. Friday, a Sandusky police officer witnessed Barnett shoot Baskey in the head and then shoot himself in the head on the shoreline of Lions Park.
"It's off base," Carr said. "I don't think nobody seen it coming."
Carr said he wishes he had asked Barnett to tell him what was wrong on the phone Friday night when Barnett asked if he could stay at Carr's place for awhile. Barnett's last words to his friend at about 7:30 p.m. were, "I'll call you when I get there." He never called.
"I wish I would have pushed him to tell me what was going on," Carr said. "I would have went to where he was. I thought he was coming here."
Diana Barnett said that as her son left her home that night, he "was happy and full of plans for the future."
"I have no doubt that he and Rachelle had time and opportunity to reflect on the Lord our God," she wrote. "Their final acts included that of trying to be a blessing to someone else. Whatever actually transpired, I do not know."
A friend of the family, Pre Lewis, was also shocked by the news and said her brother worked in the same department as Barnett at Delphi.
Lewis said her brother told her that Barnett mentioned that he needed to start working more overtime since his girlfriend had just quit her job. But, she said, the two also joked around at work that day.
Carr said he became concerned when Barnett never showed up, especially after a friend called to tell him about a shooting at Lions Park.
"I started calling his cell, he never picked up," Carr said shaking his head in disbelief. "He never picked up."
The Barnett family released a short statement Monday afternoon.
The release read: "We the family of Larry Barnett Jr. wish to thank everyone for their warm thoughts and kind acts of sympathy. Larry was a very loving, kind, generous and creative person who will be deeply missed by those who knew and loved him. We are deeply saddened by the loss of both Larry and Rachelle and wish to send our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Rachelle Baskey. Final arrangements are being made at this time."
Online comment from Diana Barnett, mother of Larry Barnett, Jr.:
Comments: Diana Barnett (mother of Larry LaVon Barnett, Jr.) wrote on Jul 30, 2007 3:29 PM:
" I have been reading all of the comments posted. I too am searching for answers. I realize that not all questions have an answer. I will miss my son terribly for the rest of my life. as i have no doubt Rachelle's parents will miss her. I will not commment on negativity nor ignorance, but i will say. Hallelujah anyhow. God is the author of life and only he has the power thereof. My son knew Jesus. I have no doubt that he and Rachelle had time and opportunity to reflect on the Lord our God. Their final acts included that of trying to be a blessing to someone else. Whatever actually transpired, I do not know. My son and Rachelle left my home minutes before this occurance. My son was happy and full of plans for the future. for those that truly knew my son, i don't have to convince you of what kind of person he was. for those that didnt may God Bless You also. I as a mother have an emptiness in my heart that you that have not lost a child from your womb will never comprehend. The hardest thing for me to do is to bury my child. But i know after the rain, the sun will shine once again. so if it comforts you to speculate and make false statements, have your way. I will see my son once again. Until then, he is in the arms of the Lord and my mother is standing by. His face will always be in my conscience, i will forever feel his hugs and kisses, his voice will always be in my ears. I shall forever love and respect Larry LaVon Barnett, Jr.; my baby. "