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Family says 6-year-old boy fatally shot in Kansas City, Kansas, was a ‘protector’

Two young boys stand next to each other on a river rock garden path. The boy on the left is wearing a Hawaiian shirt, black jeans and white sneakers, while Sir'Antonio Brown, the boy on the right, wears a T-shirt with a shark on it, jeans and coral-colored sneakers.
Courtesy of Shawna Davis-Scott
The family of Sir'Antonio Brown, right, say he tried to be the family's "protector," even at age six. He died when someone opened fire on the street between his family's homes while he was fixing a bike with his uncle

Sir'Antonio Brown, just six years old, was shot and killed Wednesday night in Kansas City, Kansas. Gun violence has surpassed car accidents as the leading cause of death for American children, according to a December report in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Sir'Antonio Brown wanted to study karate, loved to ride his bike, and — at just six years old — assigned himself protector of his family.

“His number one question was: ‘Are you OK?’” said his aunt, Shawna Davis-Scott. “It didn’t matter if it was his grandma, his mama, his sister, one of his aunties, one of his cousins. It did not matter. His number one question was: ‘Are you OK’?”

He was killed Wednesday evening, gunned down in the street between his family’s two homes while fixing his bike with his uncle. Kansas City, Kansas, Police say the suspect was driving a maroon, 2000s-era Subaru Legacy, which was found Thursday. The shooting is still under investigation, said Nancy Chartrand, KCKPD spokeswoman.

Brown was on 31st Street, at the corner of Greeley Avenue near Parallel Parkway, at about 6 p.m. It was a nice evening, so people sat out on their porches and in their yards while kids played in the streets of the residential neighborhood.

Sir Antonio Brown wears a yellow T-shirt surrounded by other kids, standing in front of an adult holding up a giant check for $12,000.
Courtesy of Shawna Davis-Scott
Sir Antonio Brown, center, with a group of other children.

Neighbors and his family say the shooter parked at a school bus stop on 31st Street, near a neighborhood watch sign about a half block away from the family’s homes, and shot toward Brown and his uncle. Thirty bullet casings were found, they said.

“They had big guns, rifles or AKs,” said another aunt, Sharon Wills.

Gun violence recently surpassed car accidents as the leading cause of death for children in the U.S., according to an investigation in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Black males count as the largest group of victims and homicides of Black children overall increased more than 16% from 2018 to 2020.

Another neighbor said the area had seen just one other shooting, back in 2006, and Wednesday night was peaceful, with lots of children playing in their yards. But everyone heard the many shots and ducked or ran into their homes.

“Everybody’s scared. Everybody wants to move,” said the neighbor, who didn’t want to be identified. “I don’t even want to live here and I’ve lived here for 23 years.”

Davis-Scott, Brown’s aunt, said she wants people to know that shootings like this make it even harder for regular people to raise their children.

“It’s stupid. It’s repetitive. It’s ignorant,” she said.

“These are kids who go to church. These are kids who have basketball practice. They’re not just ‘kids,’” she said. “They get out of school, they eat their snacks, they come outside, they ride their bikes, they have fun. They wanna go back to school the next day.”

I’m a veteran investigative reporter who came up through newspapers and moved to public media. I want to give people a better understanding of the criminal justice system by focusing on its deeper issues, like institutional racism, the poverty-to-prison pipeline and police accountability. Today this beat is much different from how reporters worked it in the past. I’m telling stories about people who are building significant civil rights movements and redefining public safety. Email me at lowep@kcur.org.
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