Omaha's latest homicide victim was trying to turn his life around, family members said.
Curtis Bradford, 22, of Omaha planned to start studying business and entrepreneurship at ITT Technical Institute in September, his mother, Velita Glasgow, said Monday evening.
Bradford had encountered troubles, including run-ins with law enforcement, Glasgow said. He hit a rebellious stage during his teen years, she said, and by age 18 was in prison for burglary.
“He was my wild card,” Glasgow said. “He always kept me guessing. But he was loyal to his family and his friends.”
A man returning home from work Monday morning discovered Bradford's body.
Bobby Rogers said he got off work at a convenience store and arrived home — at 1804 Clark St., north of downtown — just before 7 a.m. Outside his detached garage, he saw a body that police later identified as Bradford. Rogers said Bradford was wearing a black hoodie and blue Nike gloves.
“At first, I thought someone might be sleeping it off, but ... nobody could be comfortable resting like that,” Rogers said.
Rogers woke neighbor Shawn Michaels to call 911. The men said they went back outside and saw what appeared to be two holes in the back of the hoodie and blood on the ground. Investigators closed Clark Street from 18th Street to Florence Boulevard on Monday to gather evidence. Michaels said his wife and at least one neighbor heard what could have been gunfire between 10:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. Sunday. Glasgow said she last saw her son Sunday evening. His last words to her were, “I love you.” TraLisha Hollins, Bradford's cousin, said he looked up to Joshua Dillon, who was killed in October 2010. Dillon was shot inside his vehicle near 30th and Fort Streets. No one was ever charged in Dillon's killing. “He tried to be like him and kind of followed in his footsteps,” Hollins said. Bradford is the city's 33rd homicide of the year.
An earlier version incorrectly stated the number of homicides so far this year. Thirty-three people have been slain in Omaha since Jan. 1.