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Family plans funeral of father gunned down in Romulus

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

Kyieyan Warlick was known as a devoted dad and family man who loved stepping in and keeping the peace.

“He just got along with everybody,” said Angela Bembry, his longtime partner and mother of his youngest son. “He just loved life… He puts his heart out into everything he does and he’s there for everybody.”

This weekend, relatives learned that while leaving the same Romulus nightspot where he celebrated his 37th birthday less than two weeks earlier, the Ypsilanti resident was shot when other patrons started fighting. He later died at a hospital.

Now, as police search for suspects, loved ones are seeking help from the public to plan a funeral and find answers in the father of six’s death.

“The bullet wasn’t meant for him,” Bembry said Monday night. “It had nothing to do with him. Whoever did this — yes, it might have been an accident to hit him, but the point is he’s not here. This person shouldn’t be out here enjoying his family and friends …You chose your gun over your fists. That makes no sense to me.”

Warlick, who also has a grandchild and worked in car detailing, went to the El Mexicano Bar & Grill in the 5800 block of Merriman to mark his brother’s birthday, Bembry said.

The shooting, which was captured on surveillance footage, unfolded in the parking lot at about 3 a.m., Romulus police said. The people involved fled before officers arrived.

Bembry was shocked by the incident since security seemed so strict during his birthday party. “It boggles my mind how all that went down there,” she said.

Investigators told Bembry they believe Warlick was an innocent bystander, which she says fits his profile as a peacemaker at family functions.

“He was really good at that — talking people down,” she said.

Now, weeks away from marking their son’s third birthday, Bembry clings to her final memories, including the last text Warlick sent and his second farewell embrace before leaving with a group of companions.

“I was like: ‘You need to send him back in here because I need another hug and kiss,’ ” she said through tears Monday night. “I’m just so glad that I had him come back in.”

As his relatives struggle, supporters are rallying around them by donating to a GoFundMe page to defray funeral expenses.

“RIP my friend. You live in our hearts forever!” one donor wrote.