By Stephen Mayer, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -
As police search for a teen's killer, the community center near where the shooting happened is reassuring parents it is a safe place.
Supporters of the JFK Community Center at North 10th Street and Washington Boulevard came out in full force Monday night. They say the center had nothing to do with the tragic shooting that led to the death of 17-year-old Ramon Bradley.
Children and adults alike take advantage of the open gym at the JFK Community Center. They are shooting hoops in a safe environment and that is exactly why community leaders pressed to reopen the center last January.
Now those supporters are worried the shooting death of Bradley may lead to some misconceptions about the center.
They say Bradley was at a youth event Saturday night shortly before his death, but maintain it was a tragic act of random violence that had nothing to do with the center.
"He did attend the party. No incidents occurred here that led to the shooting. There was no argument here that led to the shooting. Everything happened on Third and Minnesota, blocks away. Nothing started here," said Victor Trammell with the Unified Government of Wyandotte County.
Trammell said there was ample security on hand Saturday, including off-duty Sheriff's deputies and staff.
Wyandotte County Commissioner Tarence Maddox pressed for the center to be reopened earlier this year. He says so far it has given children a safe place to come.
"We've had model showcases, the Harlem Globetrotters, you name it. This gym has been used for positivity," Maddox said.
And that is a sentiment echoed by Selina Smith, who is glad children have a place to come so they aren't on the streets.
"A lot of my students come here to play basketball, for a dance class, a few come for a karate class also," Smith said.
Smith hopes the center remains open, and she would like to see more like it open across the city.
Witnesses say the shooter may have been driving a red Dodge Stratus. Anyone with any information is urged to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS.
Bradley was a student at F. L. Schlagle High School. The Kansas City, KS, School District released a statement saying, "the district is deeply saddened by the tragic loss of a student to senseless gun violence."
Click here to read more for previous coverage on this developing story.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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