1 year later, family still searching for answers in 17-year-old’s death

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- It was part of a violent week in Kansas City. Twenty-four people shot the  first weekend in August 2018.

Five people were killed, including a 17- year old, Leo Woodruff.

“When I saw him, the way that he was, was very hard, it hurt, a lot, just hurt. Because no one wants to see their loved one like that, in a bed, just laying there, can’t say nothing, can’t breathe on their own. I just wanted him to come home in one piece," said the victim's sister, Jiovanna Woodruff.

At 22-years old, Jiovanna Woodruff said she never imagined life without her little brother.

The 17-year old was a junior at Raytown South High School with aspirations of being pilot. With a long life to look forward to, but one late night out changed it all.

Woodruff was shot near the intersection of Chelsea and East 39th Place.

He was rushed to the hospital, but would die three days later.

"It was 13 shootings that day," Woodruff's mother, Francie Armato said. "Thirteen, and he was one of the fatalities."

The mother of 17-year old Leo woodruff, said her son was the 72nd homicide in Kansas City, last year. But she said her son is more than just a number.

As the one year anniversary of his death approaches on Aug. 7, the family hoping someone will come forward with answers that will provide closure in a case, they believe, may have been targeted.

“We need answers and I think it was a target shoot, out of hate. I come from a place of love and genuine, and being genuine, and they come from a different place, of just greed," Jiovanna Woodruff said.

For now, Woodruff said she will continue to keep her brother's name alive. Through pictures, videos and through her memories.

She hopes one day she will understand the meaning of this tragedy.

The family says the teen was an organ donor, and has helped give life to many others since his death.

"Every day I pray and think about him, just so I can hear his voice," Woodruff said.

Sunday, the family will be visiting the area where Woodruff was shot passing out fliers, and encouraging anyone who knows anything to speak out.

Police are asking anyone with information about this shooting or any others to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477.

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