A Georgia man who was killed this week while on an Atlanta street early Thursday morning has been identified as the great-nephew of legendary jazz singer and pianist Nat King Cole.
Tracy Cole, 31, was stabbed multiple times near the intersection of Centennial Olympic Park NE and Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard NW around 2 a.m. Thursday, according to FOX 5 Atlanta. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.
No arrests have been made and investigators have no motive.
“(He) was always laughing, always smiling with his corny jokes,” Cole’s friend Octavia Oliver said of him. “Everyone loved him.”
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His friend Henry Stokes added: “He was one of those guys who was always there with positive energy, and it was always so good to be around Tracy.”
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Cole was a cigar aficionado who worked at the Cigar City Club near Atlanta and attended Cascade United Methodist Church, according to FOX 5.
“Tracy had this personality that really transcended culture, she transcended race, she transcended class,” senior pastor Kevin Murriel told FOX 5. “Tracy became everyone’s friend. He was family .He was more than just a young man in the community. …He was that kid who walked the floors and aisles of the church. He just brought an abundance of joy wherever he went.
Along with his relationship with the “Unforgettable” singer who died in 1965, Cole was also a first cousin of the late singer Natalie Cole and had traveled the world with her jazz musician grandfather, Freddy Cole, who died in 2020.
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“We need to come together and stop this violence because so many of our young men and women are being taken far too soon,” Murriel added. “He had so much more ahead of him and he was doing wonderful things. And, again, it breaks our hearts.”