The parents of a Warrensburg bar owner, who was gunned down in his driveway, say he was a passionate person who wanted to make a difference.
Blaine Whitworth, 25, was killed last Saturday in what police are calling a murder-for-hire case.
Hundreds attended a candlelight vigil for Whitworth outside Molly's Bar and Grill Wednesday night in Warrensburg.
The topic at the vigil was not the crime, but the young man who packed a lot of living into his few years.
The densely packed crowd outside Molly's filled a full city block, a size that was no surprise to Whitworth's parents.
"Blaine couldn't walk around without a crowd. Anywhere Blaine would go he would attract people," Whitworth's dad, Barry Whitworth, said.
And he loved the attention, his mom, Diane Whitworth, said, and would be right in his element if he were looking down.
"Blaine would love this," she said.
Blaine Whitworth was well known, a graduate of University of Central Missouri and a mixed martial arts fighter. He owned two bars, Molly's and Bodie's. Molly's was named after his grandmother.
"It was his passion. He was a passionate person. He wanted to make a difference in Warrensburg. He had the leadership skills, the energy, the drive, the ambition," Diane Whitworth said.
Molly's was strewn with loving remarks soon after police found Whitworth shot to death at his home on Saturday.
The man accused of hatching the murder-for-hire scheme, Ziyad Abid, was a bar regular, known as Z or Prince, according to people who frequent the business district where the two bars sit.
The man charged with carrying out the crime, Reggie Singletary, was a bouncer at one of Whitworth's bars.
Blaine Whitworth's parents shared their gratitude Wednesday night for what they have received following their loss.
"There really aren't words to describe the overwhelming love, support, friendship. The outpouring has been incredible," Diane Whitworth said.
Before coming back home to open the two bars, he worked on an off-shore oil drilling rig in Singapore.
Those who know Abid and Singletary say they are roommates. Abid is a student pilot and his bond conditions included surrendering his passport and pilot's license.
Police believe Abid paid Singletary to shoot and kill Whitworth.
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