On her birthday, Angel Hooper’s family celebrates their sweet girl who loved Hello Kitty

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- On Thursday, Dec. 11, Angel Hooper should have been celebrating turning seven years old, with cake and presents, friends and family.

But on October 17, at about 7:15 p.m., Angel was coming out of the 7-Eleven convenience store at 10615 Blue Ridge Blvd., at the same time someone in a passing car decided to open fire.

Angel had gone in to the 7-Eleven so her dad could buy her bubblegum. As she walked through the parking lot, a bullet struck her and killed her.

Angel Hooper

Angel Hooper

Late Thursday afternoon, on her 7th birthday, family and friends gathered at Twelve Gates Memorial Gardens, 9500 East Bannister Rd., to release balloons for her birthday.

Angel's mom wrote "Mommy misses you" on her balloon.

Angel's cousin wrote "Save me a spot in heaven."

"I would rather be finding something 'Hello Kitty' for her," said Ashley Newsom, Angel's cousin. "Helping her mom get ready for her birthday party, so to be here, it's a little better, but it's still just hurtful and sad and it's just one more reminder that she's not here with us."

Angel's parents spent the day at Angel's elementary school, where her classmates held a birthday party for her.

Prosecutors have charged Howard Chase IV, 19, and LeAndre Smith, 21, with second-degree murder, unlawful use of a weapon, and two counts of armed criminal action.

Howard Chase IV (left) and LeAndre Smith (right) have each been charged with second-degree murder in Angel Hooper's shooting death.

Howard Chase IV (left) and LeAndre Smith (right) have each been charged with second-degree murder in Angel Hooper's shooting death.

According to the probable cause statement, a witness said that at about 6:15 p.m. on October 17 she recorded on her cell phone a fight between two women at a park near 72nd and Indiana. In that cell phone video, prosecutors say Chase is seen holding a brown AK-47 and looked like it had been shortened.

For more on the evidence prosecutors say they have against Chase and Smith, click here.

 

 

balloon release

Angel's mom Charity writes, "Mommy misses you so much."

Angel's mom Charity writes, "Mommy misses you so much."