SHIVELY, Ky. (WDRB) – Police cruisers and crime scene tape blocked off an apartment on Appleton Lane near Dixie Highway, early Sunday morning.

Sgt. Josh Myers with the Shively Police Department says a man was found shot to death inside of that apartment around 8 a.m. when officers went to conduct a welfare check.

According to Sgt. Myers, family members reported that they were unable to get in touch with the resident of the apartment, so they sent somebody over to check on him. That person went to the apartment and then called police.

"[Officers] did discover a person on the floor inside the apartment with an apparent gunshot wound,” said Sgt. Myers. “At this point, we are investigating this as a homicide."

It’s unclear how long the victim had been dead.

Though the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office has not officially released the name of the victim, family members identified him as 34-year-old Joseph Key, a father of three who lived in the apartment where the body was found.

"It's a shock to me that something happened to Joey, because Joey was friendly with everybody,” said Lois Elizabeth Stewart, the victim’s grandmother.

"Everybody loves Joe. If you didn't know him, he would walk up to you and make you laugh. You'd love Joe,” said Nayatta Elliott, Key’s sister.

"He was a loving person. A caring person. He would help anybody out. Anybody. No matter what it was. He would help anybody out,” said Teja Key, the victim’s cousin. "I'm asking for anyone that knows anything about what happened to my cousin to please come forward. Please help us.”

Key’s apartment is only a block away from where 20-year-old Kamal Lawson and his 26-year-old cousin, Jermaine Simmons were found murdered on March 31. The two were shot to death in a car.

Shively Police quickly charged two teenagers in those murders.

Key’s family says that gives them hope that it won’t take long for someone to be arrested in the death of their loved one.

Anyone with information on this homicide investigation is asked to contact Shively Police tip line at 502-930-2SPD (2773).

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