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A Year After A Hickman Mills Third-Grader Was Killed, His Case Remains Unsolved

Elle Moxley
KCUR 89.3
Aubrey Paine, left, taught Dominic Young Jr. in second grade. His school, Ingels Elementary, released balloons in his honor on Monday to commemorate the first anniversary of his death.

A chilly wind carried off the balloons students at Ingels Elementary released Monday in honor of a classmate who was shot and killed last year.

Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3
KCUR 89.3
Dominic Young Jr.'s classmates at Ingels Elementary in the Hickman Mills School District released balloons in his honor Monday. Dominic was killed Jan. 20, 2018, by a stray bullet.

It’s been a year since a stray bullet struck and killed 9-year-old Dominic Young Jr., a third-grader at Ingels. Dominic’s father told police his son was riding in the backseat of a pickup when the family drove through a rolling gun battle near U.S. 71 and Emanual Cleaver II Boulevard. The case remains unsolved.

“This young man was kind, smart and very funny,” Ingels Principal Sabrina Winfrey said at an assembly. “He loved his mom and idolized his dad. We lost Dominic to a senseless act of violence, but he still lives on in the lives and minds of all of us.”

Aubrey Paine, Dominic’s second-grade teacher, was thinking about him last week as she taught her students about Martin Luther King Jr. Dominic admired the civil rights leader, so Paine would send him home with books about King. Her students found Dominic’s name in one of those books.

Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3
KCUR 89.3
Dominic Young Jr., right, plays an educational game on an iPad with his best friend from second grade, Isaiah Rogers.

“It happened to be a book I gave Dominic at the very end of second grade, and he read it in one night,” Paine said. “He gave it back because he wanted it in the class library so other kids could learn about King.”

KCUR spent the 2016-17 school year in Paine’s classroom reporting on students who switch schools frequently. Dominic transferred to Ingels from another Hickman Mills elementary school in late August. He thought math was easy and finished second grade reading at a fifth-grade level.

Dominic was one of six children killed in Kansas City, Missouri, in 2018. The city ended the year with 135 homicides.

Elle Moxley covers education for KCUR. You can reach her on Twitter @ellemoxley.

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