INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Two brothers gunned down Sunday in Independence, leaving a family devastated and a community broken.

“They were family members, they were somebody’s sons, they were loved and any room that they walked into they could just light it up,” Elexa Thornburg, a cousin of the two victims said.

Now, not only is the family upset. So, is the Independence Police Department, forced to release the man they arrested for the shooting.

For now, relatives and friends want to focus on the positive impact the men who died made.
Their family describes them both as phenomenal.

Adonis Knight, a graduate of Olathe North High School and the first in his family to go to college and to graduate.

His brother Mario Batrez, a father of two children who were his world. The news of their deaths reaching across the Kansas City metro, as the ones closest to them share with FOX4 who they were.

“Adonis is amazing and Mario is a family man and I just, it was unbelievable, I didn’t even have words, I couldn’t do anything but just cry,” Thornburg said.

“When you do see all of these Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and all of these posts, it makes you realize how many people he touched. I’m just thankful that he was able to touch my life,” Cole Carmody, Adonis’s best friend said.

Two men, two brothers, and simply one community crushed, searching for the answer of why? Why did this have to happen to them.

“He never missed seeing them a game nothing, any chance he got to talk about them he did they were definitely his pride and joys,” Thornburg said.

Mario Batrez, a father and a man of consistency. His younger brother Adonis Knight, every time he gave, he gave 100%. An accomplished 23-year-old who loved as if his life depended on it.

“He was a difference maker not only for his family and his friends but to the entire community and anyone who knows his story knows he one of the most special people that they ever met,” Carmody said.

Someone killed the men Sunday night in Independence, in a neighborhood just south of the Hidden Valley Sports Complex. What led to the shooting is unclear.

Police did make an arrest in the case but until more evidence becomes available, that man is out of jail.

“You took two lives that meant the most to us and we just won’t be able to get them back. We just have to remember what we have now and it’s a dark place to be in right now” she said.

“Everything happens for a reason, there’s a greater power. God has a plan and although it may not make sense to anybody he is in a better place,” Carmody said.

Adonis would have turned 24 in just two weeks. Now his family will have to bury him.

We do know that they plan to have a joint funeral for the brothers.

According to IPD and the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office, the case had to be reviewed by the homicide review committee, that move of course frustrating police who had made an arrest.

In a statement police say: “Ultimately, the decision to charge lies with the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office. If charges or a warrant do not exist, we have to release the person within 24 hours.”

The prosecutor’s office tells FOX4 that this review team meets once a week.