The fiancée of an American man who died after he was beaten outside of a nightclub in Little Italy while attending a bachelor party last month says she wants people to think before they resort to violence.
“I want to continue just promoting people to just love one another,” Shenel Darden told Global News from her Glen Burnie, Maryland home. “Not be so quick to get angry and fight or even pick up a gun and start shooting. There is too much of that in the world and so many innocent lives are being taken for no reason.”
The Maryland man died Nov. 5 after what police said was an unprovoked fight.
Jones was in Toronto to celebrate a friend’s upcoming wedding when police alleged he and his friends were approached by a group of men outside a bar looking for a fight.
Police say Jones got separated from his friends and was punched and repeatedly kicked in the head even after he lay semi-conscious on the sidewalk. He died while he was being rushed to hospital.
Andrew Christopher O’Brien, Kenneth Omorojbe and Kamari Folkes, have been arrested and charged with second-degree murder in connection with Jones’ death.
The last time Darden spoke with her husband-to-be was an hour before the incident.
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“I had text him around 12 a.m. that night and said, ‘Hey how are you doing’,” Darden said.
“Around 1 a.m., he said, ‘I’m fine how are you’, and literally, I guess an hour later it happened.”
Darden said that in the days following Jones’ death, she felt numb.
“I felt empty. I felt like I was in this Twilight Zone — like it wasn’t real,” Darden said.
“I still feel that way. Every day I wake up it’s a battle. Every day I wake up I’m asking God please just help me get through this day. Every day is a different emotion.”
Darden said Jones was studying environmental science at University of Baltimore and they had plans to get married in Niagara Falls, New York in 2017.
“The hardest part of this situation is accepting the fact that he’s not here,” she said.
“It’s hard to accept the fact that you found the love of your life and now you have to live life without that person.”
Andrew Christopher O’Brien, Kamari Folkes and Kenneth Omorogbe have been arrested and charged with three counts of second-degree murder in connection with Jones’ death.
Darden said she was angry in the days following Jones’ death, but now she wants to spread the message that violence is not the answer.
“Julian was more of peacemaker. He didn’t start trouble. He didn’t believe in trouble,” Darden said.
“I just really hope that his story touches someone. I hope that people would think twice before they act.”
With files from The Canadian Press