KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Instead of celebrating Labor Day with her loved ones, one mother and her family spent time at an area morgue.
"I woke up early Friday morning and I said thank you Lord that there weren't any killings last night and then about two minutes later I heard on FOX 4 breaking news: a body has been found near 27th and Mersington. I didn't know that would be my baby, " said shell-shocked Gaye Weston as she sat on her front porch Monday surrounded by family members and friends.
It was there Gaye Weston stood in disbelief when she laid eyes on her son, Brandon Johnson, 30, on Friday.
"He had a bruise on his face and I knew he had been in a fight. He also looked angry to me. My son was a chronic asthmatic ever since he was six months old he battled asthma. I can say at least he's at peace now, no more of that, but it's extremely hard knowing someone shot my baby. He was one of five kids, " says Weston.
Kansas City police say shortly after 5:30 Friday morning gunshots rang out near East 28th and Mersington. Once officers showed up, they found Brandon Johnson had been shot and killed.
Gaye Weston says her son was a loving, kindhearted man who loved his children, his family and had a passion for mentoring kids. Weston says for the last five years Brandon worked as a before and after school teacher at Melcher Elementary School and made a difference in the lives of many students.
"He really was a loving man who cared about so many. He volunteered as a basketball and football coach at the school. He also would go up and down the street during the winter and shovel many neighbors' driveways and sidewalks and in the summer he didn't mind raking elderly neighbors' yards, at no cost," says Gaye Weston.
In two weeks, Brandon was looking forward to celebrating his 31st birthday and in five months Weston says her son was to marry his sweetheart, the mother of his children.
The young father had a six-year-old daughter, a three-year old stepdaughter and a five month old son.
"This is Brayden. Brandon's baby boy. He's a big Chiefs fan just like his daddy was, " laughed Gaye as she held on to her little grandson during an interview with FOX 4's Robert Townsend on Monday. The little baby, who would never know his father, was dressed in a bright red Kansas City Chiefs t-shirt and matching
"I believe my son was with three guys when he was killed. Two of them I know and I'm sure they've been to my house before and I'm sure my son has helped them in the past. I believe Brandon was walking north on Mersington and somehow they ran up behind him, shot him in is back and robbed him of whatever. They just left my baby in the street. I don't want them dead, I just want them to be arrested and put in a penitentiary," said Gaye Weston.
Monday Johnson's fiancée, too distraught to talk to FOX 4.
"Brandon was like a son to me, not my soon to be son-in-law. He was very dear to my heart. He took care of my daughter and her children. He was a very good father and a very good provider. His sudden death is just unbelievable. It's so different you know when you hold someone's hand on their death-bed. You feel like you've been cheated because somebody's a coward and they take someone's life," says Kim Whitmore, about the man her daughter could hardly wait to marry.
As of Monday, Brandon Johnson's funeral arrangements hadn't been finalized.
Police are still looking for his killer and they urge anyone who knows anything about the young father's violent death to call the TIPS HOTLINE at (816) 474-T.I.P.S, that's (816) 474-8477 and remember you can remain anonymous.