Family first priority for shooting victim

A 36-year-old rain gutter salesman - found shot to death Thursday in his Wildhorse Lane home - had two priorities, according to a church pastor who also was the victim's landlord.

"Ben Oxley's first priority was loving his wife, and then, providing for his family," said Jeremy Malekos.

"He didn't have any enemies, there wasn't a mean bone in his body," Malekos said. "I never even heard him raise his voice in anger. This is really shocking."

Oxley was found shot to death at the home at 2800 Wildhorse Lane that he was leasing from Malekos with plans to buy.

A $2,500 reward had been offered by Secret Witness for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible for his death.

Douglas County sheriff's officers were called to the residence at 3:20 a.m. on Thursday.

No details of the shooting have been released, and there had been no arrests as of Friday afternoon.

Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Jim Halsey said the shooting was considered a homicide, but authorities were confident the incident "was not just a random act."

He could not release other details of the investigation.

Malekos and his wife Amy became friends with Oxley and his wife Melissa through Carson Valley Christian where Malekos is youth pastor.

He said the Oxleys had a close relationship.

"Because of that relationship, when the house came up for lease, I rented it to them. They were looking at buying their first home and getting a new life started," he said.

Malekos mentors Melissa Oxley's teenage brother who lives with the family.

Oxley also had custody of a daughter from a previous marriage.

Malekos said he was notified of the shooting at 6 a.m. Thursday, and had been with Oxley's family all day.

"They are just devastated, just a wreck. They can't even comprehend what happened. His wife has lost her best friend. Ben's 6-year-old daughter says, 'I want my daddy back. I want my daddy back,'" he said.

Malekos said church members were rallying around the family.

"We probably have 200 people just praying for them. And we have a meals ministry preparing food for the family," he said. "They have a whole community of support and they are going to need them through this atrocity. It's amazing we live in a world like this, but we do."

Malekos said he would remember Oxley as a good neighbor.

"You'd want him as a friend. He would let us borrow anything - his truck to go hunting, even though he didn't go. Just anything. He'd say, 'Go ahead and take it,'" Malekos said.


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