Tony McPhee’s son, Andre, was a student at Tennessee State University when he was killed in September 2015.
Andre and his cousin, Greg, were enjoying a night out near campus when a woman lured them over to her house, where men were waiting to rob them. Both men were killed.
Tony said he was robbed of his son and nephew. That night, his entire life changed.
"Andre was just 21 years old. Greg, my nephew was just 22 years of age," said Tony. "They were two young men that had their whole lives in front of them."
His father said Andre loved computers. Greg loved his music.
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"Their potential was unlimited," said Tony. "I felt, as a father - as an uncle - I know I could have helped both of them reach their potential in life, but their lives were cut short for a senseless robbery."
The impact of the loss has been felt among everyone in his family.
From this deep sadness, Tony has learned to appreciate the importance of relationships and living every day as if it were your last.
“You only get one chance at this thing called life. You only get one chance," McPhee told NewsChannel 5. "You want to get it right on the first time.”
The woman who lured Andre and Greg to her house was 27 years old at the time of the murder. She was convicted of two murders and was sentenced to 25-37 years back to back in prison. Her parole has been scheduled for September 2018. The young man who was convicted of killing Andre and Greg was sentenced to 37-52 years in prison.
"[I talked to] the young lady and the young man that murdered my son and nephew. The first thing I asked them was, 'Why?'," Tony said.
He learned the woman had children.
"I asked, 'What if it was your child?' Immediately she started crying," Tony said.
He said neither suspect had an explanation for why they killed Andre and Greg.
"That tells me the didn't have anything in their heart," said Tony.
Tony and his wife used to talk about little activities they wanted to do with their kids for holidays, birthdays and family gatherings. Since the murders, they have felt something missing.
"Our life is incomplete now," said Tony.
The only way he and his wife have been able to carry on from this tragedy has been through prayer and their supportive church community. They have found solace through supportive community groups like Tennessee Voices for Victims, Victims Intervention Program and The Homicide Group.
"If you don't have a support group, a church foundation.. [healing] won't happen, because you can't do it by yourself," he said.
How to get support: