Grandmother of 3 year-old shooting victim says boy is 'smiling down' on them from above


Reporter - Robert Bradfield
Photojournalist - Tyler Rearden

 PADUCAH - Sadness and heartbreak are surrounding a local family after a three year-old was shot and killed inside this home. 

Braydion Matlock, 3, was shot once inside his home on North 12th Street in Paducah around 4pm. Saturday.  He was flown to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville for treatment but died around 8:30p.m.
Nicholas Barbee, 21, was arrested on a charge of second degree manslaughter.  Paducah police said Barbee admitted to accidentally shooting Matlock.  Barbee is Braydion's mother's boyfriend.  
Matlock's grandmother, Kathy-Marie Lopez, told Local 6 Barbee recently bought the gun because of an increase in recent break-ins in the neighborhood.
"The gun was brought to protect those children due to the area deteriorating where they lived," Lopez said. "He stepped up to the plate and took over." 
Lopez went on to tell Local 6 that Barbee was taking the gun out of a cabinet when the lock on it failed and Braydion was struck in the head.
"Braydion we love you.  We miss you. We know you are smiling down because you never stop smiling," Lopez added. 
"Braydion was always smiling, always happy," Lopez said. "He's just the best child you would ever want to have and the best grandchild."
Lopez believes Barbee that the incident was an accident and calls Barbee a great guy. 
"He's hurting," she said.  "I talked to him last night and all he could say was he was so sorry."
Lopez said Matlock is in a better place now and with her faith, she knows she will see him again. 
Barbee remains is in the McCracken County Jail on a $10,000 cash bond. 
Paducah's Chick-Fil-A is hosting a fundraiser Monday for Matlock's family.  It runs all day and a portion of the sales will help pay for the family's funeral costs. 
Domino's on Jackson Street and Lone Oak Road are helping the Matlocks.  Those restaurants will donate 10% of their sales Wednesday from 4p.m.-10p.m.  Make sure to mention the donation to the Matlock family when ordering. 
Also, a fund has been set up at CFSB on Park Avenue in Paducah in Braydion Matlock's name if people are interested in making a donation.