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B’ham barber uses passion for cutting hair to comfort the family of Kamille McKinney

Updated: Oct. 28, 2019 at 5:00 AM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Kamille McKinney was laid to rest Sunday, but she will never be forgotten. The community vows to not let her death be in vain.

A Birmingham barber did his part to comfort Kamille’s family, using art and his passion for cutting hair.

"He's a bright kid," said barber Jonathan Lee while speaking about Kamille McKinney's brother.

Lee said he was contacted by Mayor Randall Woodfin’s office to cut the hair of Kamille’s brother, Amarees.

Lee, a barber and artist of more than 25 years, said he free-handed the design of a cupcake with pink and purple frosting and white angel wings, which he shaved into the back of Amarees’ head Friday night just ahead of Kamille’s funeral Sunday.

“He paused and was like, and he said, ‘Oh my gosh, I love it.’ And that put a smile on my face,” said Lee.

Three-year-old Kamille, also known as “Cupcake,” was kidnapped from a birthday party on October 12. Police found her body 10 days later. The people accused of her murder have been arrested and charged.

Her family, left to cope with the untimely loss, found ways to ease the pain. Lee also cut a cupcake design into Kamille’s father’s hair.

Like much of the community, Lee said the tragedy of losing Kamille McKinney has changed his life.

“It’s a tough situation. My heart melted immediately when I heard about the news. And the situation actually brought me closer to my kids,” said Lee. “It makes me grab them a little bit closer to me. It makes me watch them a little bit more.”

Lee, who works at Next Level Barbershop on 3rd Ave N., said others are now calling to request haircuts in Kamille’s honor as well.

He hoped the designs bring some form of comfort.

“I hope it gives him strength, courage and I just want to embrace him and let him know she will always be with him,” said Lee.

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