KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An 8-year-old boy is now the 89th homicide victim of 2019 and the youngest person to die this year of gun violence.
Brian Bartlett and his mother were asleep late Saturday night when a car pulled up to their house and opened fire.
Security video from near the scene shows what looks like two people in the car shoot at the house well more than a dozen times.
The boy was killed; his mother injured.
“It could have happened to our house, so I got scared,” 9-year-old Adivion Collins said. He was a neighborhood friend of Bartlett’s and his fourth grade classmate at Center School District.
Adivion had a difficult time describing his feelings about losing his friend to this type of violence.
But the 9-year-old remembers first meeting Brian, who he described as nice and smart.
“When I first saw him, I ask him do he want to play? And he said yes,” Adivion said. “Then he said do you want to be friends? I said yes.”
Stacy King, former principal at Center Elementary School, agrees with Adivion’s description of Bartlett.
“He was an incredibly kind student, always had a smile on his face,” King said.
King, now a enter School District Administrator, was at a movie with her husband when she got the tragic news.
“And my immediate reaction was to cry,” King said. “Cry for the potential that has been lost.”
While Brian’s future was stolen, Adivion wants to be an FBI agent when he grows up, then build transformers so he can make movies. Big dreams for this little boy who also carries a mighty burden.
“Makes me keep on thinking about it, that I’m gonna get killed,” Adivion said.
Missing his friend, sad Brian will no longer be his partner in class and powerless to change the outcome of this tragedy, Adivion has a message for the people who act out this violence.
“Don’t kill no more kids,” he said.
Center School District will have a team of mental health professionals at the school when classes start this week to help children like Adivion try to deal with the senseless death of their friend.
There is a $25,000 reward for the arrest and prosecution of the person or people who killed young Brian Bartlett. If you have any information that can help, call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS.