KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Friends and family gathered Saturday morning at Metropolitan Baptist Church in Kansas City, Kan. to remember Taveon Brooks.
Brooks, 15, was shot and killed while driving with four friends at 52nd and Georgia around 2:45 a.m. on Dec. 16.
While the service was a time to talk about the young man who loved to laugh and rap, it was about more than Taveon. It became about all the other services for all the other teenagers before him.
A packed Metropolitan Baptist Church, with spots of red in the pews, gave its full attention to Taveon Brooks' family. Family, friends, teachers, and classmates all gave their personal experiences with Brooks. Many shared stories of how he entertained rooms, and how he loved to make people laugh.
At Saturday's service, it was about remembering Brooks. But it's a pain the community knows all too well.
"In Wyandotte County, we are losing our babies," Kim Monroe said. "We're losing our future."
Monroe raised Taveon since he was an infant. Now, she is going to raise her community to be better than this.
"He was just 15, and already so many touched by him, and saying what a value and a blessing he was to their lives," Monroe continued. "Can you imagine if he would've made it to 30, or 40 or 60? And that's what I want to stop. Cutting down our youth before they have an opportunity to change the world."
Monroe doesn't know how or where to start but she knows she wants it to end with Taveon.
"It's not about Taveon. Taveon is a catapult to what we need to do as a city. My baby's gone and I can't bring him back, but I can sure make his legacy something about something special," Monroe said. "I know I want it to be a community where Taveon would've died as an old man, having loved his wife, having loved his children, his grandchildren, his great-grandchildren. That's what I want to do for a community."
Police said they have no new leads in Brooks' homicide. Neither does Monroe.
"I don''t know, I may never know. But I know something's wrong," she said. "Something's wrong. I know we have a problem in our community. Because I've seen too many young people not even out of high school dying in the streets."
If you know anything, call the TIPS hotline: 474-TIPS.