LORAIN — Karl and Jennifer Mills were on the brink of tears as they struggled to find the words they wanted to say to the person who shot and killed their son, Jeremy Mills, on Tuesday night.
“Coward,” Jennifer said. “He took our lives.”
“He destroyed three families and more,” Karl said.
The two last saw Jeremy Mills when he and the rest of their family spent the evening celebrating Karl’s birthday. They went out to eat and went back to their Lorain home for cake and ice cream.
Two days later, police notified them that their son had been murdered.
About 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, police responded to a call from a neighbor in the 1500 block of Herbert Drive. Jeremy A. Mills, 30, of Lorain, was found in the parking lot of an apartment building. He was taken to Mercy Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Jennifer Mills said she can’t comprehend what has happened. Her only goal in life was to care for her family, she said. Nothing else came close to the importance of her family.
“I never wanted anything, just my kids and my family, that was it,” she said, crying. “I never wanted anything materialistic, anyone who knows me knows that. Just my kids and that’s what’s taken from me. They’re the only things that mattered, and I’ll never be the same.”
The family was just starting to heal from the loss of another son, Kristopher Mills, 26, who died in a car crash a year and a half ago. Kristopher’s car went off the road and hit several trees near the 900 block of North Main Street on July 28, 2017. He was pronounced dead later that day.
Jeremy was extremely close with his younger brother, the parents said. The men were born two years apart, but Jennifer said they would get mistaken for twins. After Kristopher’s passing, they said Jeremy was never the same person. Kristopher was the one to keep the family together, but when he died, Jeremy took the initiative and started taking care of his brother’s children and wife. He also spent more time in church as an active member for the St. Peter Parish Church on Oberlin Avenue.
His parents said Jeremy will be remembered mostly for being a giving person. Anytime they needed help, Karl said Jeremy would come by. He never missed a chance to say “I love you” and he’d be the first to ask if there were any plans for the holidays.
Karl said Jeremy was a good kid growing up, played basketball, football and baseball. As the oldest, Karl said, Jeremy was often told to be the man of the house when Karl was away. As Jeremy grew older, Karl said his son took that directive to heart — taking care of the family at every opportunity.
Jeremy is survived by his parents, his younger siblings, Nicholas and Katherine, two children and a fianc￩e.
The parents said he was well-liked and may have had some conflict in the past, but nothing to fear of him getting shot. They have no clue who could be motivated to harm their son.
Police have no suspects. Lorain police Lt. Ed Super said detectives still are at the beginning stages of the investigation and cannot speculate on motives for the shooting. Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call police at (440) 204-2100.