Police say 14-year-old Montee Ross was accidentally shot by his 12-year-old brother, who had two others bury the body behind a south Kansas City apartment complex.
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -
A 14-year-old boy, who police say was accidentally killed by his younger brother, was remembered Sunday by friends and family.
And as if the family was not dealing with enough, their home caught fire just as the prayer vigil was ending.
Alicia Temple, the mother of Montee Ross Jr., said they were cleaning up after having everyone over for the vigil when a circuit blew and an electrical fire broke out in the wall of the front room.
Temple said she ran to get Montee's things out of the house, but luckily some family and friends over at the house managed to get it mostly under control before firefighters got there.
Firefighters were not on scene for long, and it seemed to be well contained, but the family said the front wall has to be replaced, and they're going to stay with family.
Fortunately, they were getting ready to move anyway, but Temple said it was just too much, one thing after another.
Before the fire, friends and family gathered up the block where Montee's body was found last week in a shallow grave.
Despite the tragedy they are facing, they are working hard to focus on the positive.
Celebration is not a word one might expect to hear at the gathering, remembering Montee, who was taken in such a tragic way.
"To those who don't know, yes it, was his brother, they were playing with a gun and he accidentally shot him," Temple said.
The family is now missing two sons, as Montee's 12-year-old brother is being held in Jackson County Juvenile Detention Center. The family asked for support and prayers for him too.
"When he first went, he was just so discombobulated, so distraught. He wouldn't eat, he wouldn't sleep. He was doing bad, but when I seen him today he was at peace," Temple said.
It was an unimaginable loss, and there were plenty of tears Sunday, but also a lot of laughter, remembering the good times.
"He made funny noises all the time. He was always itching and scratching, and if you knew him, he was trying to make money off you some kind of way, always calling saying, 'what you need me to do? I'll clean out your garage, I'll cut your grass,'" Temple said.
The family wants everyone to remember Montee that way, and to take away one more lesson.
"Kids, do not play with guns. I don't care if they're laying around, do not play with them," Temple said.
They passed petitions pushing for gun control, as Montee's siblings wore shirts saying "I am my brother's keeper," knowing now they're the keepers of his memory.
There has been a fund set up for the family at Liberty Bank and Trust under the name Montee Ross Jr. It will likely be even more needed now.
The family says Montee's younger brother has not been charged yet, and that he is being held for questioning and has a court date Tuesday to decide his next steps.
Two other teens are also accused of abandoning Montee's body in the shallow grave after apparently panicking after the accidental shooting.
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