Relatives grieve the loss of 17-year-old killed during shooting on Halloween in KCK

Published: Nov. 4, 2022 at 6:29 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Kan. (KCTV) -- A community vigil will be held this weekend for 17-year-old Turner High School student Katron Harris who was killed during a shooting on Halloween near S. 50th Street and Elmwood Avenue in Kansas City, Kan.

Katron’s family members say he was a loving and caring brother and son.

His mother, Meghan Wertacet, says she will never forget how excited he was to receive his first paycheck from a business where they worked together. She says he could not wait to buy Christmas presents for his family members.

“The smile he had that he could pick anything for them was priceless,” Wertacet said. “I will never forget the face he had when he was shopping for everybody.”

She and her fiancé Robert Wilson never imagined Katron would not come home safe on Halloween.

Katron sent his family updates from his trick-or-treating that night. He then asked for permission to attend an invitation only Halloween party that had adult supervision.

“I told him yes, he could go to the party. He called. He is responsible. I wanted him to have fun his senior year,” Wilson said. “He told me to pick him up by 11 p.m. He said, ‘Be here by 11 p.m. please.’ That’s the last good memory I had of him.”

Police say according to witnesses, between four to six suspects were asked to leave the Halloween party because they were much older than the high school aged guests. Investigators say the suspects returned and opened fire at the home. Seven teens were struck by gunfire. Katron did not survive.

One victim was treated and released from the hospital. The other victims ranging in age from 15-18 were initially hospitalized in stable condition.

“You don’t have to take nobody’s life over a simple no,” Wilson said. “I want more resources in the community for people who have anger issues, or whatever the issue was, that triggered him to even think about hurting kids.”

Katron’s favorite teachers, friends and community members from around the Kansas City metro have reached out to his family to share memories of him and condolences. Relatives say Katron was known for being well-dressed and dreamed of owning his own business to design clothing.

“Katron had a very large family. As parents, we didn’t expect none of this. None of his family expected none of this,” Wilson said. “We expected Katron to graduate next year. We expected him to go on family trips. We expected him to grow and start his business.”

A community vigil will be held Sunday Nov. 6th from 6 - 7 p.m. at the New Story Church on their front lawn for Katron, his family and everyone affected by the shooting.

The Wyandotte County District Attorney’s Office charged 22-year-old Daijon Estell with 12 counts including first-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated endangering a child and endangerment.

Anyone with any information about the shooting can anonymously call the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers Tips Hotline at 816-474-TIPS or call the KCK police department directly at 913-573-6020.