Parents of slain McGavock student remember special bond with son - WSMV News 4

Parents of slain McGavock student remember special bond with son

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Alicia Mahdi Alicia Mahdi

The parents of a Nashville high school student, who was shot and killed allegedly at the hands of a classmate, said they never expected their son to go to a friend's house and never come home.

Kevin Barbee, 15, died Tuesday night, and his friend, 17-year-old Kaemon Robinson, now faces homicide charges.

Robinson had his first court hearing on Friday afternoon.

Kevin was a normal teen who shared a special bond with his father, his parents said.

"I would always tell Kevin, ‘You have to be aware of your surroundings at all times.' And he would just remind me every now and then, ‘Dad, I'm listening,'" said father Kedrin Barbee.

Kevin loved to cook and wanted to attend culinary school one day. It's one of many dreams that now won't be fulfilled after he was killed while a group of teens were apparently playing with a gun at a Hermitage apartment.

"My life will never be the same," said Kevin's mother, Alicia Mahdi.

His family is trying to come to terms with a reality no parents want to face.

"I don't want nobody worried about their son when they go over their friend's house, their son might not come back," Mahdi said.

Kevin's death came just two days before President Barack Obama was to visit McGavock High School, where Kevin was a sophomore.

The president met with Mahdi before his speech in the school's gym. It was a meeting that's almost vague in her memory.

"Meeting him was overwhelming, but what I could take away from meeting him is that it was very sincere and it just warmed my heart that he took his time out of his schedule," Mahdi said.

The mother said she wants other teens to know that dying young is nothing to take lightly.

"These kids are playing with guns and posting pictures on Facebook like it's fun, and it's not," she said.

Kevin's mother hopes her message will keep this tragedy from happening again.

"This is not glamorous. Dying when you're a teenager is not part of your life goal. This is not what it's about," Mahdi said. "I have to speak out. I have to save your son. I have to save these kids. It's going to get worse if we don't stand up."

Kevin Barbee's funeral service is set for Tuesday, Feb. 4, at 11 a.m. at  The River Church on Stewarts Ferry Pike.

A viewing will be held Monday at Revelation Funeral Home Chapel from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., and again Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the church.

A memorial fund has been established at The River Church. For information on how to contribute to the Kevin Barbee Memorial Fund, visit:

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