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 a hospital.
No arrests have been made and investigators don’t have a motive.
“[He was] always laughing, always smiling with his corny jokes,” Cole’s friend Octavia Oliver said of him. “Everybody loved him.”
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His friend Henry Stokes added, “He was one of those guys who was always around 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 the Cascade United Methodist Church, according to FOX 5.
“Tracy had that personality that just really transcended culture, it transcended race, it transcended class,” Senior Pastor Kevin Murriel told FOX 5. “Tracy made a friend of everyone. He was family. He was more than a young man in the community. He was that child who walked the floors and aisles of the church. He just brought an abundance of joy everywhere he went.”
Along with his relationship to the “Unforgettable” singer who died in 1965, Cole was also a second cousin of late singer Natalie Cole, and had traveled the world with his jazz musician grandfather, Freddy Cole, who died in 2020.
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“We’ve got to come together and stop this violence because so many of our young men and women and being taken far too soon,” Murriel added. “He had so much more ahead of him and was doing wonderful things. And, again, we’re just heartbroken by this.”