Metro family feels some closure after arrest made in shooting death of Dwane Simmons

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Dwane Simmons’ family sits in his mother’s south Kansas City home, remembering the good times.

It’s been more than two months, since they’ve heard his infectious laugh.

“We didn’t know. God put him here for a short time. But Dwane, he enjoyed life until his last day. He enjoyed it to the fullest,” Dwane’s mother, Chaquilla Everett said.

Simmons was shot and killed as he was leaving a party near Washburn University on April 28. His teammate, Corey Ballentine, who’s now with the New York Giants, was shot and wounded.

On Friday, the Shawnee County District Attorney charged Francisco Alejandro Mendez with first degree murder and six other felony charges.

“In that moment, it was like victory. We did get a name. But then on the other hand, it was like it unpeeled everything. So you went from feeling victory to extremely sad all at the same time,” Dwane’s step-mother, Yasmine Simmons said.

Simmons’s family says this is just the beginning of the healing process.

“Charges have been filed, that’s great. But we want justice to really be served in a conviction for the crime,” Dwane’s father, Navarro Simmons said.

They say learning to live without Dwane has taken them through a roller coaster of emotions.

“They need to see what type of person they took from us. They need to see the energy, the charismatic energy he was. They need to see this,” Dwane’s step-father, Corey Everett said.

Along with Mendez, there were other people in the car during the shooting in April. The Topeka Police says this is still an open investigation, as it tries to find everyone involved in that deadly night.

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