KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Hundreds came together Thursday night to support the family of 14-year-old Manuel Guzman.

The teen was stabbed to death at Northeast Middle School more than a week ago.

He was also a regular at Winnwood Skate Center in the Northland. Manuel’s family said that’s is where he was the happiest. Almost any weekend you could find the teen boy doing tricks around the rink.

For kids, a roller rink is somewhere you can feel free.

“A place kids can go have fun and be safe,” manager, Emily Rooks said.

That’s what Winnwood was for Manny.

“My child skated here with Manny and so she’s taken aback by it too and it’s a big shock,” Rooks said.

The teen was killed more than a week ago, and allegedly stabbed to death by a fellow student at Northeast Middle School.

“We needed to do something for Manny,” Rooks said.

Manuel spent most weekends at Winnwood playing games and skating with his friend, 15-year-old Kennedy Sprauge.

“We met at the rink,” Sprauge said. “We would always hang out before skating and we would go get snacks and go to my house for a break and talk and hang out and then come back and have the rest of the time here.”

She and her family came to the fundraiser to support the Guzman family by making a donation.

“I miss him. It sucks without him,” Sprauge said.

“I love it. I love the support in the community coming out and even if they’re not skating they are still showing up to support Manny,” Rooks said.

Fellow skater, Marty Bears, didn’t know Manny or his family but wanted to show support.

“I was horrified. Nobody should be unsafe when they go to school. School is supposed to be a safe place to be when you’re a child,” Bears said. “When I heard this young man was a skater it touched my heart and I wanted to be here to support however I could.”

At Manny’s favorite place where he always felt safe, he holds a place in their hearts.

“He was always full of life. Always involved. He would play our games with us. The dice game and limbo. You would see him out here doing tricks out here on the floor and everything, You knew he was happy whenever he was here,” Rooks said.

“It’s going to be hard, definitely. It’s not going to be the same,” Sprauge said.

Manuel’s funeral is scheduled for Saturday morning.

If you weren’t able to come to the fundraiser but want to help, you can donate to the family’s Gofundme.

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