BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. -- The mother of a 16-year-old boy shot and killed before Christmas says police are close to making arrests in the case.
Michelle Stephenson says no one thought her son, Colby, would be a homicide victim.
"He wasn't the target, is what I'm understanding," Stephenson said.
Friends and family are remembering Colby for his kind heart. He was a dog rescuer, taking in strays until he could find a good home for the pets.
On Dec. 18, someone shot and killed Colby Stephenson outside of a party in Blue Springs. His mother calls it an ambush.
She says Colby was the first person out of the door, when attackers fired on him and at least two others.
The nephew of former Chiefs lineman Donald Stephenson was a junior at Valley View High School.
He would have turned 17 Thursday, but now his mother says she's struggling to pay for his burial.
"He had a heart of gold," his mother said. "He wanted to help everybody he could help. No matter what kind of day he was having or what we were going through, Colby made sure he reached out and he helped them. That’s what kind of kid he was. He was a great kid."
Stephenson says she's also learning that her son befriended a child with autism, offering support when other teens did not. And other parents told her Colby helped their kids cope with depression, when they were considering taking their own lives.
The boy's uncle, NFL player Donald Stephenson, is helping Michelle with $5,000 to cover some of the funeral costs. To learn how you can help, click here.