KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The family of 8-year-old Brian Bartlett, who was shot and killed during a drive-by shooting Saturday night is speaking out about their loss and the people who killed the little boy.
The house at 83rd Terrace and Tracy Avenue has become a symbol of the terror gripping parts of Kansas City. But it once was a home filled with love and the laughter of a child who was funny, smart, loved playing with Legos, loved math and had a very bright future.
"So precious and sweet,” said Brian’s Aunt who asked to only be referred to by her first name, Rochelle. “This young, vibrant angel, the love of my sister's life."
Auntie Chelle, as he called her, kept in close touch with her nephew after he and his mother moved from California to Kansas City three years ago.
The doting aunt made a teddy bear wearing a t-shirt with a picture of the two of them when the child was especially missing his family.
"And I sent the bear to him with a love letter that explained to him that this bear was going to protect you and be with you at all times," Rochelle said.
But that bear could not protect him from the evil that rolled by Saturday night. Video from a nearby security camera shows the flashes of gun fire shot from a car at Brian's house
The wall next to the bed where Brian slept is riddled with bullets holes. The 8-year-old died in his mother's arms. Brian was her only child.
“He wasn't bothering anybody. He was at home, tending to his own business in his own bedroom, in his own bed, watching his own TV, laying with his own mom,” Rochelle said. “He was not bothering anybody so why did somebody somewhere come along and bother him?"
The gunmen stole the child’s future with the squeeze of the triggers.
"I saw him going to be successful someday because he had his head at such an early age wrapped around positivity, personality, humor. He had his mind right, at eight!” Rochelle said.
The family has made a commitment to the boy they lost.
“We will do everything we can Brian to get this to stop happening to children," Rochelle said to her nephew in Heaven.
That commitment starts with putting away whoever caused this senseless tragedy.
"Please, please, for the 8-year-old, innocent, loving, little guy,” Richelle begged. “Please help us find out who did this to our baby. He didn't deserve it, he just didn't deserve it."
The hope this family once had for Brian’s future has turned to desperation in the hunt for his killer.
There is a $25,000 reward for whoever turn ins the person or people who killed the child
The Bartlett family said this is no time for the street code of silence. Somebody knows and they say the only way this child can rest in peace is if his killer is behind bars.