Family shares memories of loved one killed in KC shooting, ending a life that had promise

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- An Independence mother says her daughter struggled with addiction, but she never thought the day would come where that struggle would end in someone taking her daughter`s life.

FOX 4 was at the scene on August 25 where someone shot a woman in her 30`s who died a couple of hours later at the hospital, family shared more about Jessika Peppers on Monday.

"She was known from early on for her colored hair. She was just full of life. I'll say she lived a whole lot of life in her 32 years," Carol Peppers said.

The mom says her daughter was a reptile-loving, softball-playing cosmetologist who marched to the beat of her own drum.

"She was actually chosen to represent North America and go play softball in Amsterdam in 2002," Carol Peppers said.

As she and her son Todd looked at pictures from that once-in-a-lifetime trip -- they remembered Jessika -- whose life, they say, was a troubled one.

"It's just been the struggle with addiction. She would come and go and she's been to rehab several times and tried to get it together, but just could never get back on the right path," the mom said.

A path that perhaps led her to a Kansas City home off of 58th and Cambridge where family says Jessika was trying to get belongings back from an ex. Something happened inside the house that sent Jessika to a hospital with a gunshot wound, where she died a couple of hours later.

"We feared for years that this call would come. But not like this, not at the hands of another person," her brother Todd said.

It was an end to a life family said had so much promise -- even with talks of rehab again just a couple of weeks back.

"Never stopped loving her of course, never stopped hoping that she would find her way back. So it's difficult, very difficult, and this is not how it should have ended," Carol Peppers said.

Police told FOX 4's Megan Dillard on Monday afternoon that they did question a man initially -- now they're still investigating this case.