MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minneapolis man was shot dead a week ago today while visiting his father in Oklahoma City.
He had been reaching out to his father, trying to foster a relationship, when an intruder broke into the home, shot and killed him.
Twenty-year-old Anthony Hartfield, Jr. played high school basketball at St. Agnes in St. Paul.
He was on the team at Connors State College in Oklahoma, and had dreams of playing in the NBA.
People who knew Hartfield say he always had a smile on his face.
They say Hartfield was a motivator, a leader, someone many looked up to.
In every picture Hartfield took, you could see right through that smile all the way to his heart.
“He had a big heart and he touched many hearts,” said Antonio Hartfield.
His younger brother Antonio, sister Kameko and mother Emily are having a hard time dealing with the fact that he is gone.
“All night we were calling, texting each other,” said Emily McGhee, his mother.
Last Monday night they said goodnight like they always do.
“At 9:59 p.m., he said ‘I love you mom’ and 10:04 p.m. I texted him back and said ‘I love you too, son,'” McGhee said.
Six hours later, she got a phone call, telling her, “Junior” was gone.
News reports from Oklahoma City is how they learned about Junior’s death.
Someone kicked in the door at his dad’s northeast Oklahoma City home.
His dad says he heard a boom and when he went to check, he found his son lying on the ground.
“He was like my best friend. He was going to move back up here and we were going to go to the same college and play ball together. We were going to try and be in the league together,” Hartfield said.
Emily says his father has yet to explain to her what happened.
“He was like yes, I got everything planned, I was like but you have not even told me my son is deceased or anything so after that I haven’t talked to him,” McGhee said.
But he did tell reporters he used to run with the wrong crowd and admits he is a felon currently on probation.
“Sometimes my son took that bullet for me, because my son really didn’t have anything to do with anything,” said Anthony Hartfield, Sr.
Police in Oklahoma City have no suspect or motive for the shooting.
A funeral will be held in Oklahoma City and then Junior’s body will be shipped to the Twin Cities for burial.
The family has set up an account to help him here, you can donate at any Wells Fargo if you’d like to help.