Family of 12-year-old killed in shooting spreads awareness by giving back ahead of new school year

Published: Aug. 13, 2022 at 11:59 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, MO. (KCTV) -- As another school year kicks off, it’s one more without BJ Henderson.

“My son has been gone since April 14th of 2021 and I still cry every day,” said his mother, Monica Henderson.

The 12-year-old was shot and killed in a parking lot in Leavenworth. He was in the back of his sister’s car. Since that day, his parents and those rallying around them want to see an end to gun violence.

“We have to make sure we reduce our crime in our city and help our kids. We don’t want to bury another young kid,” said Mark Byrd, president & CEO of New Reflections Technical Institute:

This year alone, nearly 30% of homicide victims in Kansas City were kids and young adults. 6% of them were younger than 18.

“We always think that as a child, a child buries their parent. You’re not used to burying your child,” Byrd said.

BJ’s family started a foundation named in his honor.  On Saturday they gave away school supplies and had fun activities for the kids at the Linwood YMCA. It was in partnership with New Reflections Technical Institute.

“A lot of his friends still reach out to me, and we wanted to do something for the community and also for his friends. So, we felt like helping the parents out with back-to-school supplies will not only be good for the kids, it would be good for the parents,” Henderson said.

Even after back-to-school ends, Henderson wants families to know she doesn’t want them to feel the same pain.

“We Lost our son so that you don’t have to lose yours,” she said.

The BJ Henderson Foundation and New Reflections Technical Institute gave out around 200 backpacks to kids.