The late cousin of Real Housewives of Potomac alum Monique Samuels – who she announced over the weekend had been "killed" – has been identified as Jacque "Tuff" Sheppard Jr. of Pleasantville, New Jersey.
He was a 34-year-old father to a 13-year-old boy who was shot dead in Atlantic City late Friday.
According to the Atlantic City Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, officers responded to a 9-1-1 call at approximately 11 PM local time. They located Sheppard, "who was unresponsive and suffering from multiple gunshot wounds."
Cops said Sheppard was transported to the Atlanticare Regional Medical Center City Campus, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.
The ACPO, in conjunction with the Atlantic City Police Violent Crimes Unit, are still investigating the incident and urging anyone with information to contact their offices.
Monique Samuels is asking the same.
On Monday night, the former reality star took to her Instagram page once again to share more details about the tragic loss of her beloved "Tuff." She also shared a link to a GoFundMe page another family member set up to help with funeral costs and living expenses of his teenage boy.
"Still trying to comprehend what has happened but one thing about my family is when we come together the healing begins," Samuels, 37, captioned a series of family photos and videos. "We went to the place where my cousin Tuff (Jacque) took his last breath. We prayed, we embraced, lit candles and we let balloons drift in his memory. Please keep his son in your prayers."
"My family has organized a gofundme link to assist with burial costs but most importantly for his son so that we can create a Trust for him," she explained. "If you feel compelled to give, please do so or simply leave words of encouragement on the site. We appreciate it either way."
Samuels also thanked the ACPO and ACPD for their "diligence" and added the phone numbers and websites of their offices, should anyone have information:
- 609-652-1234 or 1-800-658-8477 (TIPS)
She concluded her tribute/plea for justice by thanking her nearly half a million followers for their "prayers, messages of encouragement, phone calls and texts. Our entire family is beyond blessed and grateful for the love and support."
The GoFundMe page – which explicitly stated that Tuff had been "murdered" – described him as "a good person with a huge heart. A bright personality and always the life of our gatherings. Family and actively being a father meant everything to him. This is such a huge loss to our family and especially to his SON."
"Why anyone would take the life of an admired father, cousin, uncle, nephew, grandson and friend is beyond incomprehensible," the page stated, later explaining that the family has "less than a week to gather resources to honor his memory and say our last goodbyes."
At the time this post was published, the family had received just over one-third of its $15,000 goal.