A father of six from St. Louis was shot and killed while driving on Interstate 55 with two of his children Saturday night.
“He was a lovable person. He’d help anybody. He was a good daddy,” said Patrick West’s mother, who asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation.
West, 26, was headed northbound near the exit for Arsenal St. when St. Louis Police said two vehicles opened fire on his car.
West suffered a fatal gunshot wound, crashed into the median and was pronounced dead on the scene.
Police said two of West’s boys, ages four and six, were in the car at the time and suffered minor injuries from broken glass.
“He had the kids because I had to work. I woke up and had like 50 missed calls from everybody about what had happened,” said the boys’ mother, West’s fiancé, who also asked not to be identified.
She said she and the St. Louis native met in high school when she was 16 and had been together off and on since 2008.
She said they hadn’t set a date yet, but were hoping to get married.
“He wasn’t a bad person at all. Like, he had a good heart,” she said.
She said she’s already sought professional counseling to help her sons understand what happened to their father.
“My four year old doesn’t quite get it. My six year old is terrified. It’s something we just have to grieve over together. I have to be completely honest with them,” she said.
And this isn’t the family’s first encounter with tragedy.
West’s mother said he dropped out of high school after his brother was murdered a few years back, but was working full-time as a fast food restaurant manager and hoping for a successful future.
Now, she said she’s heartbroken over yet again having to bury a child due to gun violence in the city.
“I didn’t have anything but two sons, now they’re both gone,” she said. “I just have to be strong for my grandkids.”
West’s fiancé said criminals should think more about all the other lives they’re impacting when they decide to pull the trigger.
“I wish it would stop because kids are out here losing their fathers. That’s not something you can get back. I have children who have to grow up without a dad,” she said.
And that sentiment was echoed by West’s mother’s hope that police will catch whomever cut her son’s future tragically short.
“I believe they’re going to find who did it because God brings miracles every day,” she said.
In all, there were seven victims in Saturday’s interstate shooting.
Aside from West and his two sons, another driver was grazed in the head by a bullet, but not seriously injured.
Investigators say that person has been uncooperative with the investigation. They believe that person and West were targeted.
Three other drivers suffered ballistic damage to their vehicles, but were not seriously hurt.