‘They hunted him’: Father speaks out after son was murdered last Halloween

News

The father of a man gunned down last Halloween is speaking out for the first time in a Local 4 News Exclusive.

22-year-old Corey Harrell Jr. was found shot to death in his car behind City Hall in Moline on the morning of October 31. 

Police say the suspects started shooting at Harrell in the 2100 block of River Drive, and didn’t stop until he was fatally shot in the 1500 block of 7th Avenue. 

On Monday, Harrell’s father, who asked not to show his face on camera, or be named for privacy reasons, told Local 4 News their family hopes by speaking out, someone will come forward.

“The reality is is I’m never going to see my son again,” said Harrell’s father. “The reality is is these guys that chose to do this, they’re still walking around right now. The reality is is at some time, we pray and hope justice will come forward.”

It’s been almost five months since bullets went flying in broad daylight in the heart of Moline, and Harrell’s life was cut short by gun violence. 

“Corey had so much going for himself and to be taken away from violence like this,” said his father. “They hunted him…They stalked him…it was premeditated.”

On Monday, his family described Harrell as a bright young man and entrepeneur who was working on getting a degree in business. 

Tyson Parks, Harrell’s cousin, says Harrell was also a dedicated father to his newborn son, who was just 4 months old when Harrell was killed. 

“The hardest part is seeing pictures of a baby who will never experience the love of his father,” said Tyson. “When he has his first baseball game or basketball game, those are things you can never replace.” 

Harrell’s father says the last several months have been a never-ending nightmare.

“I can’t walk to my son’s house or pick up the phone and talk to him so as far as my pain it’s never going to go away.”

Now they’re hoping thier story will spare someone else from the same pain. 

“No one is exempt to senseless acts of violence, it affects everybody,” said Tyson. “It could be you by being in the wrong place at the wrong time…this is just as much to bring awareness that this community needs to come together and say ‘We won’t tolerate this.'”

But Harrell’s dad says long-term changes lies with lawmakers. 

“Until they incorporate harsher penalties, we’re still going to have these problems,” he said. “The reality is guns are never going away but there’s a way to fix this.”

Now taking it day by day, Harrell’s father is trying to focus on his grandson left behind. 

“I don’t know if we’ll ever find happiness, I don’t know anyone who would when your child has been taken from you, I don’t wish this upon no one,” he said.

Now Harrell’s father plans to tell his grandson stories about the father taken from him too soon. 

“It’s almost unbearable on our family,” he said.

While they can’t bring Harrell back, they’ll keep raising awareness and praying for answers. 

“We’re just praying for justice, justice for Corey,” said Tyson.

Crime Stopper of the Quad Cities is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in Harrell’s case. They’re asking anyone with information to come forward. You can submit an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers of the Quad Cities here.

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