MIDWEST CITY, Okla. (KFOR) – Friends and family of 20-year-old RJ Long Jr. are in unimaginable pain after he was shot and killed Monday afternoon at Rose State College.
News 4 showed up to a park in Long’s hometown of Harrah, expecting one or two people to share who Long was and what he meant to them.
Instead, dozens of people showed up. Each one had a story to tell.
Long’s mother, Kelly told KFOR when she heard about an active shooter on her son’s campus that she was hopeful her son wasn’t involved.
“Live shooting at Rose State where my son Rj is. Last heard Rj was in the humanity bldg where three shots were fired [and] one dead. Please ,” Kelly posted to her Facebook.
Two hours later and Kelly found out it was her son who was killed in the shooting.
“It was Rj. Got shot [and] killed a hero protecting a woman in class from a violent husband,” added Kelly.
She told KFOR she found out Monday afternoon when two Midwest City Police officers knocked on her door.
“Is RJ dead? Is he dead?,” she recalls asking them.
As officials confirmed with her that Long had passed, she remembers hysterically crying for the minutes to follow.
Soon after Kelly received the gut wrenching news so did everyone else.
“I got a phone call from my husband telling me it was my brother. I would’ve never expected it to be him of all people,” Long’s sister, Mykell said.
A friend of Long’s, Jacob Claxton said his mom called him and said, “RJ’dead.”
“I just collapsed on the floor,” Claxton stated.
The unthinkable was now this community’s reality.
Court documents show the shooter, 30-year-old Brandon Morrissette was quickly apprehended after killing Long.
“I surrender. I surrender,” court records reveal Morrissette told police on Rose State College’s campus Monday afternoon.
Morrissette believed his wife and Long were having an affair, according to an affidavit. Morrissette’s wife told police that’s not true.
As she and Long were walking out of class at 12:15 p.m. on Monday, Morrissette allegedly confronted the pair.
Morrissette typically picks his wife up from school, but waits in the truck, so she was shocked to see him, said the affidavit.
“[Morrissette’s wife] also mentioned that [Morrissette] has anger problems. She finished with telling me [Morrissette] is very controlling and always watches what she does,” records show.
Midwest City Police say as the confrontation took a wrong turn. Morissette gunned down Long with a 9mm pistol and killed him.
Long’s family told KFOR he died a hero, but they don’t want his life to be summed up into a school shooting.
“When I found out what actually happened, that he was doing the right thing, I was like that’s exactly my brother. That’s how we were raised — to always do the right thing no matter what you think could happen,” explained Mykell.
Kelly said Long most recently decided his passion was helping others through exercise.
He also was in the Marine Corps Reserve and was pursuing a degree in Christian Apologetics — a branch of Christian theology that defends Christianity.
Many also described Long as a leader and someone who led his life through faith.
News 4 asked several of Long’s friends to describe him in three words.
Humorous, full of life, and faithful were tossed around.
Most said it was hard to sum up who Long was in three simple words though.
“The love that he showed was a love that was sympathetic but also blunt,” said Claxton.
Kelly added Long was a man of few words, but he was very honest when he spoke.
Mykell told KFOR Long would light up every room he walked into.
Another friend said Long was one of the first people she would always go to for advice and when she was considering different options as to how she wanted to serve her country, Long was right there with her to help guide her through the process and decision making.
Mykell’s husband, Quinton Simmons recalled Long has a stellar arm wrestler and someone he could depend on.
Long used to work at the Braum’s in Harrah where his manager, Amber Hill remembers him as “silly” and cracked jokes of nearly firing him every shift.
During the News 4 interview with Hill, she pulled out a small American flag.
Hill explained when employees would leave Braum’s to serve their country, she’d have them sign the flag.
“[Long] was all excited to sign it,” she stated.
Hill gifted the flag to Kelly, telling her, “No mother should ever have to go through the loss of a child and ya know, I’m here for ya.”
News 4 listened to stories about Long for nearly an hour and every single one was as touching as the last.
Unfortunately, News 4 was unable to listen to everyone’s story, but the number of people who showed up spoke volumes.
We asked everyone who was interviewed if they could say something to Long, what it would be.
“We miss you” and “We all love him deeply” was echoed amongst the group.
One friend, Bryan Haley explained how hard it would be to push through life without Long by his side, but knowing he’s in Heaven allows him to do so.
The family also thanked the Harrah/McLoud community for the love and support they’ve been shown in the last 24 hours.
The family will be holding a candle lit vigil Friday, April 28 at 9 p.m.
The vigil will be at the Braum’s in Harrah. The address is 3100 S Harrah Rd.
Hill said the vigil is open to friends, family, and anyone wanting to pay their respects to Long.
The family has also set up a GoFundMe to cover Long’s funeral expenses.