Birthday vigil honors KC teen whose murder remains unsolved

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Dozens of people gathered at a Kansas City area basketball court on Sunday to remember 19-year-old Brezelious Shackelford.

Shackelford was killed on August 10, 2017 near 35th and Askew. Police are still searching for the person or people who are responsible for his death.

“The impact that it’s caused on our family has been tremendously hard. We walk around here, we live around here. We could be speaking to the person who did this so it’s extremely hard for us because we don’t have answers,” said Triss Jacoway, Shackelford’s cousin.

Jacoway says her cousin loved to play basketball, which is why they held a vigil for him at the Central High School basketball court, where he frequently played pick up games. Sunday would have been Shackelford’s 20th birthday.

“We need the community to remember that his life mattered. That was a young man that played basketball right here at the Central Basketball Court, he graduated from high school, he deserves to be here like everyone else,” said Rosilyn Temple, of KC Mothers in Charge.

Temple says vigils can help in the healing process for families who have lost loved ones, but they also help create awareness within the community.

“We are fighting, to the last breath in my body that we are going to try to help a family. If we can save one life that’s a lot,” said Temple.

Shackelford’s family members hope Sunday’s remembrance event and balloon release helps remind the community that his homicide remains unsolved and that it may help generate new tips and leads in the case.

“More of us talking, more of us doing, more of us praying, more of us connecting. More people not being afraid to stand up and say, I was there, I saw it,” said Jacoway.

Anyone with information about this case is can report anonymously to call the TIPS hotline at (816) 474-8477.