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Family mourns 9-year-old with so much potential killed in crash as suspect fled officers

A metro family is grieving the loss of a 9-year-old boy. Tonight, we are hearing from Aaron Shanklin's family. He was rushed to the hospital on Wednesday after a car he was in was plowed into by a man police say was running from officers.

FOX 4's Molly Balkenbush went to Children's Mercy Hospital and spoke to his family.

Tonight the family of Aaron Shanklin will leave Children's Mercy Hospital without him.
They say he had overcome so many obstacles in his life and it's a tragedy he was killed at such a young age.

"He was just a very loved a little boy. This is a picture of him and his family, his mom and his dad, he was just a very special kid and he did not deserve this at all."

Megan Williams describes her 9-year-old nephew, Aaron as "happy, very happy."

Family say the joyful little boy was autistic and learning how to speak new words everyday.

"He had overcome so much and worked so hard in his nine years already. If you didn't know he would just be the typical little kid running around you wouldn't have a clue."

They say he loved to learn at school and play with his cousins.

"So innocent. So full of life."

Nineteen-year-old Kaveon C. Cottonham faces multiple felony counts for recklessly fleeing from police on Wednesday in the area of 55th and Woodland Avenue.

A witness told police the suspect believed police were trying to pull him over so he took off but wrecked a few blocks later, crashing into a car carrying Aaron and his family.

Family say the little boy had a lot to look forward to.

"He was going to be a big brother. His mom is six months along in her pregnancy and I know he was ready to be one because I have two girls that he just adores. They are six and six months and he just loves every bit of them, especially my six-year-old. They are really close."

Family says Aaron's mother and her unborn child are okay after that wreck. The suspect in the case has priors, one of them being fleeing from police in 2015.