BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A dream that started a world away for one Baton Rouge family turned into a nightmare with the murder of one of their own, as this is not how the story was supposed to end.
The victim was David Wasike, who was killed over the summer. The words of relatives are spoken with heartache and confusion and they resonate.
"For somebody to just come and shoot you, it's not normal," said Norraa Wasike, the victim's sister. "It's not normal."
No, it's not normal. And when you hear the rest of her family's story, your heart will bleed for them. It started in the country of Kenya, decades ago, with the patriarch of their large family. Their father had nine children, all of whom would go to college and many of them right here in the United States.
"Many of us are what you would call the 'American Dream,'" said Fulbert Namwamba, the victim's brother-in-law.
He married into the family and shares their path here, looking for the "American Dream." Many became teachers, professors and other types of educators. They all immigrated here, 100 percent legally, over the last few decades, including David Wasike. He is described as a big 6'7" gentle giant. His youngest nephew used to call him "Uncle Tall." The family received a knock on the door on August 23. On the other side were deputies with the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office.
"They asked to talk with David's relatives and then they told us that he had passed," Norraa Wasike recalled.
The thing is he didn't just pass, but instead, he was shot and killed outside his own home on Skysail Avenue. His porch quickly became a place to remember and honor him. Little tokens of love showed up. Candles burned down to the concrete. And off to the side of the house, there was a pile of bicycle parts. He would always put these to very good use.
Det. Edward Nicholson Jr. with EBRSO has been working the case from the beginning.
"We learned he was the neighborhood maintenance man," Nicholson said. "He repaired bikes for kids in the area."
But that doesn't happen anymore. A neighborhood lost its gentle giant and a family has lost a part of their "American Dream."
"It's very hard, especially for the siblings back in Kenya. They just don't understand," Norraa Wasike added.
They don't understand in Kenya. Wrap your head around that. The violence here, in the United States, is shocking to them. Is it the "American Dream" versus the reality?
"They've killed David. He'll never come back. They'll do it again. They'll do it again to somebody," Norraa Wasike expressed.
The victim's brother-in-law described what needs to happen.
"It would help to have the killer apprehended, to keep the humanity flowing in the neighborhood," Namwamba explained.
Keeping the humanity flowing is the plan. This family needs to be shown it had it right the first time when relatives thought America had the answers, when they thought it was that bright and shining light on the horizon. Let's show these family members they can believe in that "American Dream" again. Show them they can believe in their father's dream again.
If you think you can help, give Crime Stoppers a call at 344-7867. You will remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward of up to $2,500.