‘It’s got to end’: Kansas City family devastated after 15-year-old shot, killed at park

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KANAS CITY, Mo. — Police say a juvenile is dead after a shooting at a south Kansas City park.

Family members identified the victim Tuesday evening as a 15-year-old boy who lived in the Ruskin Heights neighborhood and attended Ruskin High School.

“I don’t think hurt is the appropriate word. The family is dealing with trauma, tragedy,” said Pastor Dennis Lester with Bethel Family Worship Center.

“Terrell was full of enthusiasm, energy. A good young man, athlete. I had the privilege of watching him outside my office window outside playing with sisters. Never would have known the last time seeing him playing with his sisters would be my last time seeing him.”

Lester spoke on behalf of the family after the deadly shooting. He said the family attends his church, also located in the neighborhood.

The shooting happened at 2:30 p.m. at Sycamore Park near 109th Street and Sycamore Terrace in the Ruskin Heights neighborhood of Kansas City.

When police first arrived, they say the found a victim suffering from a gunshot wound and attempted to perform life-saving treatments before an ambulance arrived. The teen was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

“Families are out, and it’s a quiet area and a park. Those are certainly not areas where we want to be responding to shootings,” KCPD Capt. Leslie Foreman said. “Today is a bad day. It’s a tragic day for two different families. The ripple effects in our community, I know is tired. Their heart is weary in regards to this.”

Family believes the shooting stemmed from a social media argument and turned deadly.

“So far, we think it was a social media back and forth, children being children, and we know it escalated to something that shouldn’t have gotten to this point. There’s no value placed on life. There’s no value with the decisions that are made in a split second,” Lester said.

“Children — children aren’t even old enough to drive, aren’t even old enough to smoke, aren’t even old enough to vote, make decisions that impact not only their lives, but the rest of someone else’s life. It’s got to end.”

Police say there’s no suspect information at this time. They’re still looking for potential witnesses and potential home surveillance videos to be used as evidence.

If you have information, you are urged to call the TIPS Hotline at (816) 474-TIPS. All tips are anonymous. Information leading to an arrest can lead to a $25,000 reward.

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