Tears flowed throughout the Kansas City area on Saturday as funerals were held for four murder victims.
An emotional mother pleaded for justice for her 7-year-old son whose death in a drive-by shooting remains unsolved.
The great-grandfather of a little boy who prosecutors say died from abuse wants his accused killer to face the maximum sentence possible.
But there were also stories of laughter and smiles amid the tears at the funeral homes and churches where loved ones and family gathered to remember Jon Bieker, JaQuail Mansaw, Lorenzo Orozco-Estrada and Alexis Kane.
JaQuail's heartbroken mother, Balithia Washington, collapsed in tears during her 7-month-old son's funeral, which was held at the same church where a funeral was held last fall for 10-year-old Machole Stewart who was killed in a drive-by shooting.
Washington gave an emotional eulogy for her son as she and Rev. Desmond Lamb made impassioned pleas for justice.
"They took my baby away," Washington cried. "I just want my baby and they took him away from me. That was my baby and I truly miss him."
Lamb said people know who are responsible for the drive-by shooting deaths of Machole and JaQuail, and they should come forward. He said no one is worth protecting when it comes to the murder of children.
"This is the second time we've had to say farewell to a little angel that died a very difficult death," Lamb said. "It's very discouraging. It's not a happy moment. It's a moment of challenge in our community because it feels like we have a discouraging crisis."
Washington asked for support.
"Please pray for me because I need it. I need all the prayers I can get," she said.
Lorenzo's family also asked for prayers on Saturday. The 2-year-old died from his injuries on Jan. 10 after he suffered brain and head injuries and a lacerated liver allegedly at the hands of his mother's boyfriend. Teddy bears, balloons and notes were placed outside a church in his honor.
Fourteen-year-old Alexis Kane was buried Saturday afternoon. She was found shot to death at a south Kansas City water park last Sunday morning.
On Saturday, authorities announced that Kansas City Councilman Scott Wagner has donated $500 to a reward fund. There is now a reward of $4,500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Alexis' killer.
Hundreds gathered at a funeral home in Shawnee on Saturday afternoon. They were just blocks from She's A Pistol gun shop where co-owner Jon Bieker died while protecting his wife, Becky, during a botched robbery.
Hero was a word used over and over and heartbreak over Bieker's death in such a senseless manner. Four young men have been charged in connection with his death.
"Without a doubt, he will always be remembered as a hero," said one mourner who asked to only be referred to as Anna.
Connie Harrell, owner of the Doll Cradle, said Shawnee is a safe, good city, and She's A Pistol was a thriving business partner that catered to providing protection options to women.
"It's devastating when someone is shot in their business," Harrell said.
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