Family speaks out after great-nephew of Nat King Cole stabbed to death in downtown Atlanta

ATLANTA — Police haven’t announced an arrest or a motive in the deadly stabbing of the great-nephew of jazz great Nat King Cole.

Channel 2′s Tom Jones spoke with Tracy Cole’s family, who is asking for the public’s help to solve his case.

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“Please come forward if you know anything that can help this investigation move forward.”

That was the message Cole’s uncle, Lionel Cole wanted to send, all the way from Sydney, Australia.

The 31-year-old was killed after he was stabbed multiple times outside his downtown apartment around 2 a.m. the morning of Sept. 14.

Lionel Cole had this to say to those afraid of coming forward.

“It’s not turning on someone. It’s doing the right thing.”


Cole lived at the apartments across from the Civil and Human Rights Museum with his girlfriend and her 7-year-old son.

Police haven’t released many details about what happened. Tracy Cole comes from musical royalty.

He was the great-nephew of Nat King Cole. Natalie Cole was his second cousin.

Jazz artist Freddie Cole was his grandfather. Tracy traveled the world with him on tour and was his personal manager and valet.

Tracy took it hard when his grandfather passed away recently.

“It was crushing to Tracy. For all of us. But Tracy was really really close to him and was there every moment he could,” Lionel Cole said.

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Now, Tracy is gone and yet another victim of violence.

“It’s gotta stop by us actually standing up talking about what’s happening and who’s doing it,” Lionel Cole explained.

Lionel Cole says he will miss his nephew’s laughter and peaceful spirit. He says his potential was cut short way too soon.

“It’s been a tremendous weight but my family is very strong,” Lionel Cole said.

Tracy was well-known in the cigar and music community. His funeral is scheduled for next Monday, Sept. 25.