Mother of slain college basketball player says her son kept her strong in trying times

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A lifetime of hard work is gone and a family is left without one of their strongest supports. The Saturday morning shooting not only ended the life of 23-year-old Marcus Mondaine, it robbed one mother of her pride and joy, and her source of strength in trying times.

Prosecutors filed charges Monday against 21-year-old Damon M. Hammons for second degree murder and armed criminal action. Hammons is not currently in police custody.

Mondaine’s girlfriend told police Mondaine was shot while he was lying in bed next to her one-year-old daughter. She revealed that the suspect is her ex-boyfriend and the child’s father. Police said Mondaine died at the scene.

FOX 4's Shannon O'Brien spoke with Mondaine's mother, Evette Moore, on Tuesday.

Mondaine's murder has left her and her family absolutely devastated.

By all accounts, Mondaine was a good guy, never got in any trouble, and spent his life doing the right thing to become a success.

It's almost impossible for Moore to speak about her son, who she said was so driven to achieve his goals. All of that hard work and success was stolen in an instant.

"Marcus was a good kid. He was," Moore said.

Mondaine, a leader on the University of St. Mary basketball team, was set to graduate at the end of this semester. It was a long road for Mondaine, graduating from Lincoln Prep, on to State Fair Community College, before being recruited by the University of St. Mary in Leavenworth.

"They chose Marcus," Moore said. "As soon as they met him, they had to have him."

Moore said he was a straight-A student, but it was his dedication to his family that really set him apart.

"Marcus made me smile. Marcus kept me strong," she said.

In June 2015, Mondaine's sister sustained a severe brain injury as a result of a car wreck. Super brother and son became the most important title for Marcus, as well as his brother Montel.

"They stayed strong and they kept me strong," Moore said. "He was here for me. He was here. He didn't give up."

In fact, when asked about one of her favorite conversations she ever had with her son, it was a recent one after his sister made a big step forward at the rehabilitation center where she is now living.

"He was excited because of what took place," Moore said.

This mother is now lost without the boy who not only inspired her to be a better person, but was also a mentor and an example for everyone who met him.

"He was a very responsible kid. You know, I called him, checked on him all the time, but it was because I wanted to. I didn't have to," she said.

Mondaine's family, along with his college family, will have a prayer service at the Annunciation Chapel on the university campus.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help pay for Mondaine’s funeral expenses.

Meanwhile, police are still working to capture the man they believe is responsible for all this pain.

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