Tyre Nichols loved skateboarding and taking photos. He worked for FedEx and was the father of a 4-year-old son.
The 29-year-old died on Jan. 10, three days after he was pulled over in a traffic stop just blocks from his parents’ home for an unspecified violation and then beaten by five Memphis Police officers.
At his funeral, Nichols was remembered as someone who had become a solid member of the Memphis community. Nichols moved from California to Tennessee where his mother and stepfather live during the COVID-19 pandemic and ended up staying there, living at his parents’ Memphis home.
He eventually got a full-time job, his stepfather Rodney Wells said, with one of Memphis’ largest employers, FedEx.
>> To see the unedited video released by the Memphis Police, click here. Warning: The videos are graphic and contain profanity.
Wells told reporters that his son had always loved skateboarding but offered him some advice after he got the FedEx job about nine months ago.
“You’ve got to put that skateboard down,” Wells said he told his son. “You’ve got a full-time job now.”
Wells worked the second shift for FedEx, The New York Times reported. It was the same place his stepfather worked.
“Tyre was a good kid. We worked together,” Wells said. “He was very, very beloved at my job. Everybody there (is) calling me with blessings, prayers, showing sympathy for what happened.”
He would stop in at his parents’ home around 7 p.m. on workdays to take his dinner break, Wells said.
Nichols’ mother, RowVaughn Wells, told CNN in an interview Friday that that was one of the things she will miss most about him.
“I won’t be able to cook for him again,” she said.
Nichols was tall and thin, his mother said, adding that her son was a little taller than 6 feet and weighed “a buck-and-a-half” or 150 pounds.
Every time Nichols came into her house, she said, he greeted her and her husband with a “Hello, parents.”
“I always joke – because he’ll come in the house and he’ll come in and say ‘hello parents’ – and I’ll never hear that again,” his mother said.
Nichols’ father talked about his son’s love for photography, particularly shooting sunsets.
“My son every night wanted to go and look at the sunset, that was his passion.”
Nichols had a photography website where he wrote about how the camera helped him look “at the world in a more creative way.”
“I hope to one day let people see what i see and to hopefully admire my work based on the quality and ideals of my work,” he wrote. He signed the post: “Your friend, – Tyre D. Nichols.”
Nichols was the youngest of four children, a son his mother said was a “good boy” who spent his Sundays doing laundry and getting ready for the week.
Wells said she and her son were so close he had her name tattooed on his arm.
“That made me proud,” she told CNN. “Most kids don’t put their mom’s name. My son was a beautiful soul.”
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