Groom-to-Be Killed While Scouting Wedding Venues

Image: Thomas Rolfes
Thomas RolfesNBC News

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By Connor Mannion

What was supposed to be a dream wedding turned into a nightmare after a young man found shot dead in New Orleans while searching for a wedding venue over the weekend.

Thomas Rolfes, 25, was shot and killed early Saturday morning in New Orleans while looking for wedding and reception venues in New Orleans, police said.

He had just gotten engaged to his girlfriend Liz Fried one month ago, his family said.

Both bride and groom were Tulane University grads who had moved away from the Crescent City but wanted to get married there, NBC Louisiana affiliate WDSU reported.

"He was here to start the next chapter of his life. He was meeting his fiancée to visit venues for their wedding. It was the next chapter; our firstborn was marrying this beautiful girl," Julie Rolfes, Thomas' mother, told the station.

The Rolfes family said Thomas was at an uptown bar with friends late Friday. New Orleans police said he was last seen around 3:30 a.m. Saturday on surveillance video buying two bottles of water at a gas station near where he was killed, according to WDSU News.

"I don't want this to happen to anyone else's son, and I want whoever did this to be put away." Ron Rolfes, the victim's father, told WSDU.

Rolfes was a member of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney 2012 campaign team, and the former presidential candidate called the killing "senseless and tragic" in a Facebook posting Monday.

"His commitment and dedication to our effort made him an invaluable part of the campaign." Romney wrote.

Police had not yet released any description of a suspect, but Rolfes' family pleaded for anybody who knows anything about what happened to come forward.

"If they saw anything that can help us find what happened to our son — and give us peace — (so) we know how the last hour of his life was spent," Julie Rolfes said.