MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — This summer will mark one year since the murder of a young Richfield man, and a mother’s agonizing pursuit for answers.
Jonathan O’Shaughnessy, 24, was gunned down the night of July 3 last year while walking home from a street dance.
The drive-by shooting left police with little to go on, but his mother is on her own crusade to help others — with the hope it could lead to closure.
She wishes she was not sitting on a bench that serves as a memorial to her only child.
“For him to be gone is so, so unbelievable,” Cynthia said. “He was everybody’s best friend, including mine.”
Together they traveled the world. Jonathan loved to try new things. A graduate from Academy of Holy Angels, Jonathan drove a semi for a living.
Cynthia says her son grew up with a giver’s heart.
“We’re doing this for Jonathon, to keep his name out there,” she said.
From collecting food, to helping kids with cancer, adopting a highway and serving hot meals to the homeless, Cynthia has organized at least one volunteer event every month since her son’s murder.
Believing in the importance of paying it forward, feeling that after Jonathan’s premature death, it is all they have left to give.
“If you know something … somebody needs to say something,” she said.
Cynthia also hopes the attention could lead to new clues. It was just before midnight on July 3 when Jonathan walked home with two family members from a dance a few blocks away.
Those witnesses say it was a minivan, possibly gray in color, that slowed on 64th Street near 4th Avenue South. Someone inside fired at least three shots, killing Jonathan instantly.
Richfield police would only say on Thursday that the case is still very active, and that they will not let it slip away.
It is a sentiment shared by a heartbroken mother.
“We do really miss him,” Cynthia said.
Jonathan’s family and friends will be back to Veterans Memorial Park on July 3 this year, handing out fliers and asking for volunteers to help them give back. They will then march for Jonathan in the Fourth of July parade the next day.
Volunteers will be cleaning both sides of the highway at Interstate 35W and Highway 13 this Saturday morning. Click here for information volunteering.
There is now a $20,000 reward for information in the case. Callers can remain anonymous. Call 1-800-222-8477 with any information.