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Kansas City Mayor Honors 15-Year-Old Shooting Victim, 'One Of Too Many Young People Who Have Died'

Kansas City Mayor Lucas was joined by Terrell Bell's mother, Janae Drake, to honor his life at Sycamore Park on Friday morning.
Jodi Fortino
KCUR 89.3
Kansas City Mayor Lucas was joined by Terrell Bell's mother, Janae Drake, to honor his life at Sycamore Park on Friday morning.

One juvenile has been arrested and charged in the shooting, but Terrell Bell's mother says other people involved in his killing have not been caught.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas spoke at Sycamore Park on Friday to remember a 15-year-old who died in a shooting there earlier this week.

Terrell Bell, a Ruskin High School student, was shot and killed at 109th and Sycamore Terrace on Tuesday.

His death was one of three shootings that took place that day over the span of one hour.

“He was a victim of violent crime. One of too many young people who have died this summer from violent crime incidents,” Lucas said. “We're trying to stop any mother from having to go through what Janae is going through today.”

Lucas said he spoke with White House officials this week about how to tackle the city's growing public safety problem.

Lucas was joined by Bell’s mother, Janae Drake. She said she had lost her only son.

“He had plans, football, college, everything. I didn't raise my son in the streets. I didn't raise my son to be a gangster,” Drake said.

Bell was a member of Becoming a Man, a nationally acclaimed youth mentorship program that expanded into Kansas City last year.

Garrett Webster, executive director of Youth Guidance in Kansas City, said Bell was eager to join the program and had encouraged his classmates to do the same.

As summer approaches, Webster said his group is committed to keeping the city’s youth safe.

“Last year, we battled a global pandemic as a city. This year, we battle a citywide epidemic of violence that is snatching young lives well before our time,” Webster said.

Drake warned the city’s young people about the violence that took her son’s life and that “a gun is not always the solution to everything.”

“You don't have to fight. It's okay to walk away. Be scared to lose your life. Be scared to be in drama that can go on and on,” Drake said.

The Kansas City Police Department announced Thursday evening that a juvenile had been arrested and charged in the shooting.

Drake said other people involved in her son's death have not been caught and called for their arrests.

A KCPD spokesperson said in an email that the investigation is ongoing.

More than ever, education lies at the intersection of equity, housing, funding, and other diverse issues facing Kansas City’s students, families and teachers. As KCUR’s education reporter, I’ll break down the policies driving these issues in schools and report what’s happening in our region's classrooms. You can reach me at jodifortino@kcur.org.
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