Farmington shooting victim remembered as friendly, loving former Marine
FARMINGTON — The father of a Farmington man who was shot to death last week says James A. “Jimmy” LaPrade was the kind of person who made friends with everyone, and would travel through a hurricane to help any of them out.
“Nobody was ever a stranger to him,” James R. LaPrade Jr. said Monday afternoon.
LaPrade said Jimmy did tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan while serving as an infantry platoon sergeant.
The younger LaPrade, 33, was shot and killed at his 27 Oakwood Road home last Wednesday. A woman, who police have not yet identified, was also shot but is expected to survive.
A teenager was arrested in the case, but authorities have not released his identity or connection to the victims. They are seeking to charge him as an adult.
The victim’s father said his family and friends are working hard to hold themselves together as they make arrangements for Jimmy’s funeral.
“He has a lot of Marine friends who are just as devastated,” the elder LaPrade said.
While serving in Iraq, LaPrade said, his son became close with civilians as he helped fortify their houses and protect them. When it was time to leave, he had mixed emotions because of the connections he had made.
While in Afghanistan, Jimmy LaPrade became close with the NATO forces he served with. He recently changed his name temporarily on Facebook to “Giacomo Alessandro Il Prato” in recognition of an Italian national he was friends with, his father said. That friend is having a Mass said for LaPrade in Italy this weekend.
After his military service, Jimmy LaPrade worked at Sprague Energy in Portsmouth and Eversource’s Newington Station. His father said the job as a power plant operator at Eversource was the start of a new career path for his son.
“He had a job he was really getting into. He was learning a lot. Everyone there liked him,” he said.
Visiting hours will be Saturday at R.M. Edgerly & Son Funeral Home on South Main Street in Rochester from 2 to 4 p.m. A celebration of his life will follow in the chapel at 4 p.m. The family is inviting memorial donations to K9s for Warriors in Ponte Vedra, Fla.