FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A man with a troubled past had his turnaround story cut tragically short.
Jovon Harvey Sr. was gunned down in his front yard on East Tillman Road in front of his family on Oct. 26.
He leaves behind six children, a mother, a host of of family and friends, and a reputation.
According to court documents, the 44-year-old Harvey had a lengthy record including drug dealing and dog fighting along with other misdemeanors and felonies throughout the 90’s. Recently, he faced a federal indictment for tax evasion.
“My dad was not perfect,” said Jovon Harvey Jr. “My dad was with some crowds.”
However, Harvey Jr. said that was his dad in the past.
For over a decade his father had been trying to turn his life around. His father held annual back to school giveaways for low income children, gave out turkeys on Thanksgiving to needy families, and donated to the Charis and Hope Houses. They said his impact on the community was evident in the hundreds that came out to pay their respects at his funeral this past weekend.
“It didn’t only take away my grandma’s son, or a community leader, it took away my dad, my best friend,” Harvey Jr. said.
Harvey Jr. says his dad was open about his drug dealing days in an effort to keep him away from that lifestyle.
“My dad knew what he went through with all of that, and he didn’t want his kids to go through the same thing” Harvey Jr. said. “He wanted us to be better than him.”
Harvey Jr. owns his own cake company in Fort Wayne, his sisters are in school, and his brother is working in Atlanta.
He hopes his father’s death wasn’t connected to his past but sends a message to those still associated with a dangerous lifestyle.
“Don’t look to retaliate…because that’s just going to keep it going,” Harvey Jr. said.
He also said that he and his siblings have discussed ways to keep their father’s legacy alive. They will be continuing one of the philanthropic efforts Harvey Sr. began, but they aren’t sure of which one yet.