‘We’re just left in many broken pieces’: Metro family mourns son killed near Washburn University

LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. -- Dwane Simmons bright future was cut short by gunfire. The 23-year-old graduated from Lee's Summit West in 2014. He went on to play football at Washburn University heading into his final season and last semester in the Fall.

The 23-year-old and his friend Corey Ballentine were walking home from a party near the university in Topeka. Ballentine is expected to make a full recovery following the shooting.

Right now police have yet to discuss a possible motive or any suspects in the case.

Simmon's parents Navarro Simmons and Chaquilla Everett sit in her living room surrounded by family missing one bright smile.

"There wasn't a dull moment with Dwane, he was just a, he was just an awesome kid," Navarro said.

Awesome at football too. Headed into his last season and final semester in the fall, Navarro traveled to Topeka Friday to drop off a couch for his son. Simmons was moving into a new apartment after learning roommate Ballentine was making his way to the NFL.

Shortly after recording a video on Facebook celebrating, Navarro said goodbye to his son, not knowing it would be the last.

"I would just hug him a little bit tighter probably a little bit longer," Navarro said.

Navarro got a call from Ballentine the next night form the hospital.

"I just, my heart just dropped and I hopped up out of bed, I was scared."

Navarro and Chaquilla rushed to Topeka.

"Some guys rolled up and asked if they had some smoke or something else for sale," Navarro said. "Dwane and Corey said no and they just drove off and came back around and opened fire. And killed Dwane and we're just left in many broken pieces."

Although Saturdays will feel empty without watching number 17 form the sidelines, his parents hope to fill the gap with his memories.

"Just loved to make you laugh, that's just his spirit," Navarro said. "That's what I will remember most about my son.

"He was well loved at Washburn so if anybody hears anything I believe somebody's going to say something so we're just hoping they find the person that did it," Chaquilla said.

"If you hear anything please speak up," Navarro said. "Please go to the authorities. Dwane deserves justice."

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