Nashville, Tennessee (WKRN) – At the age of 15, Juan Marquez came to the United States to improve his family’s life. His current widow, Melody, is a fact she tells everyone and everyone because she’s proud.
“His first job was as a mason. He worked [as] A bricklayer, he said he worked. He worked hard like a man. He said, “He didn’t want to give up and show his boss that he couldn’t and was hurt, so he sucked it up and worked as hard as he could.”
Over the years, the two have raised children and grandchildren together. Inside the house of the Sudekum Apartment Complex, they found love within the intimate walls.
That security, love, and family unit fell apart on the night of April 9, 2023.
“It was a knock on the door,” said Melody. “He opened the door and the person said something to him and tried to cut in, so he started shooting him.”
Just before midnight that night, a subway cop was summoned to an apartment on Charles E. Davis Boulevard. When they arrived, police said they found Juan lying outside the apartment door with multiple gunshot wounds.
However, Melody and I are together just moments before the police arrive.
Did he love me? She remembers asking him as he lay in front of her after being shot several times. I’m here.
Below is the last conversation she remembers with him.
“And he said, ‘Yes.’ I said, ‘Hold on. Help is coming.’ He shook his head. “You’re not leaving us, are you?” He shook his head. I said, ‘Okay, just be strong.
That’s when I heard an ambulance and sirens approaching my house.
“I looked at him and said, ‘They are here.’ Your help is here. You’ll be fine.”
But at that moment Melody knew it was too late.
“He just looked like I couldn’t do it. That’s it. He didn’t do it,” Melody said.
The aftermath of the shooting can still be seen outside the door. The door frame is splattered with bullet holes and blood. Melody told her News 2 that she and her family no longer feel safe living there, especially since the remnants of that night are still there.
“I held my husband until his last breath. Not only me, my grandchildren and children were there. We all saw him die,” Melody said. “He didn’t like me crying, but now I’m crying.”
Juan quickly made friends with those around him. Melody explained that even though he didn’t speak much English, that didn’t stop him.
“There is a lot of crime in that community,” said Chartrice Crowley, family friend and neighbor and director of Community Healing & Family Empowerment at Early Bridge Builders. “We deal with crime consistently. To me, it feels like it’s just another number added.”
But those who actually know Juan know it’s more than just a number.
An organization called Early Bridge Builders has been working to help the Marquez family since the shooting. GoFundMe page To help since Juan’s body was returned to his home country.
Now Melody sat with those who had comforted her and her family through one of their darkest times.
“Since this happened, our backyard has felt spooky. We are used to seeing and hearing children playing. It’s been spooky for the past three weeks.” said Crowley.
Since the shooting, Metro Police have not announced any arrests in the case. If you have any information regarding this case, you will be asked to call Nashville Crime Stoppers. 615-742-7463.