Kentucky teen shot, killed on vacation remembered by family, friends

Published 1:42 pm Sunday, April 4, 2021

Dozens of shiny red and black balloons floated up from behind a funeral home on Preston Highway Saturday evening, a memorial to 14-year-old Lucas Dale Likes.

With the sun shining from just above the horizon, friends and family members gathered at Schoppenhorst, Underwood and Brooks Funeral Home in Shepherdsville to honor the teenager who was shot and killed while on vacation with his family in Florida last month.

Lucas’ mother, Amy Salmon, said it was good to see how many people her son touched during his life. Many of them wore T-shirts with his photo and name painted in red and black — his favorite colors, for the University of Louisville — as they watched the balloons disappear into the sky.

“It kind of felt like a little bit of closure. We set him free,” Salmon said after the funeral service and balloon release.

Lucas died March 23 when a stranger shot him and his stepbrother in Panama City Beach. Lucas jumped in front of his brother, also 14, when he saw the man pull out a gun — saving his life, family said.

Some of the shirts worn to his funeral had the words “My brother’s keeper” written across the back, recognizing Lucas’ final action.

Salmon described her son as “the most amazing soul with the biggest heart.”

“He was the glue of our family,” she said. ”… He was just an amazing kid. A really amazing kid with a huge heart. He just didn’t deserve this.”

Lucas’ stepfather, Shawn Salmon, said Lucas cherished every moment of his life.

“He was a very loving kid. He just enjoyed life,” Salmon said. “He was the type of person you’d want to follow.