TOLEDO, Ohio —
On Friday afternoon, Corey Coley Sr. received a phone call that changed his entire life.
"I got a call from somebody screaming, and at first I thought it was a prank call, and then they said 'Are you Corey's father?'" the elder Coley said. "And I said 'yes', and they said 'Corey just got shot in the Weiler homes."
His 22-year-old son, Corey Jr, had been shot in the back after getting a haircut, gunned down only days after sharing some exciting news with the family.
"He just found out he was having a son and was going to name him C3, Corey the third, and now my grandbaby will have to grow up without a dad," said Coley Sr.
The younger Coley died from a gunshot wound to the back. His death was the 36th homicide in Toledo in 2022.
Coley said while he tries to stay strong for his remaining kids, he feels lost. And his son had no life insurance, meaning Coley was prepared to take on serious funeral costs.
But Coley's time in the band Distant Cousinz has earned him a lot of friends, including Project I Am co-founder Scott Hayes. Hayes said he's known Coley to be dedicated to the community his entire life.
"He's the first one that raises his hand when we need to help someone else out when we need to have a benefit," Hayes said. "He probably plays more gigs for free than he does get paid because he's always there to help a good cause."
And now it's time to return the favor, Hayes said. Friends are organizing a fundraiser at Ye Olde Cock and Bull, 9 N. Huron St., in downtown Toledo.
"We're gonna have a benefit with some of Corey's best musician friends chipping in to try to raise money to give his son the best funeral he could possibly have," Hayes said.
Hayes said Coley has touched many lives in the community, and he expects a diverse crowd and an outpouring of support.
For his part, Coley said he is overwhelmed.
"It just really touches my heart, because I know that my son is going to get put away very well, and I can even start a trust fund for his unborn child when he's born," Coley said.
The fundraiser will be from 5 p.m to 8 p.m. Thursday at Ye Olde Cock and Bull.
Coley also asked that anyone with information about his son's death contact Toledo Police Department.
If you have information, you can call or text Crime Stoppers at 419-255-1111. You can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward.
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