SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The family of a Savannah Police officer killed inside his home one year ago is making sure his legacy lives on long after his death.
Luis Molina was killed one year ago on Tuesday. He and his wife Akia were both allegedly stabbed to death by Akia’s teenage brother on August 13, 2018.
But one year later, his friends and family made sure one of his biggest fears would not come true.
“I asked him, ‘What scares you in life the most?'” said Molina’s former partner, Cpl. Brian Smith. “He said, ‘Well when I go that people forget me,’ and my reply was ‘dude there’s no way anyone would ever forget you.'”
Those words were proven true at Bonaventure Cemetery, where Molina is buried. Friends, family and fellow police officers gathered to remember and honor his life.
“You try to block out what happened with my brother but it comes…you get no closure,” explained Roberto Molina, one of Luis’ three brothers. “At night I cry, when I am at work I cry, when I am on the plane I cry, when I am on the train I cry. I try to forget. I don’t forget.”
18-year-old Michael Barber is accused of killing the couple. He was staying with them at the time of the killings.
Barber now sits in a Chatham County jail cell, charged with their murders, awaiting trial.
But this day wasn’t about how “Mo Man” died, but about celebrating the man who friends call “larger than life.”
“His mindset, his caring his heart, everything else extended far beyond just the people he knew. I continue to love him. He’s a friend of mine, he’s a brother, he was my partner,” said Cpl Smith. “I miss him every single day. He’s definitely someone who continues to live on through every single one of us.”
Molina’s brother says Luis’ death should send a troubling message to many families just like his.
“There’s a lot of pain that I don’t want these other families to go through,” said Roberto Molina. “Don’t bring these young kids into the house that need help. Let them go to the doctors for therapy. Don’t bring them into your homes.”
Savannah Tech says it will honor Molina by naming their latest class of Peace Officer graduates from the school in his honor.
Barber has pleaded not guilty to the murders. His trial could begin later this year.