A 36-year-old Kansas City man shot and killed Sept. 8 was an aspiring truck driver who obtained a commercial driver’s license prior to his death.
Marcell Smith wanted to drive semi-trucks across America for a living and enjoy the sights and sounds of the country, family members said Wednesday at a vigil to remember the father of two.
Smith was shot about 3:40 p.m. near East 54th Street and Park Avenue and pronounced dead at the scene. His death was the city’s 106th homicide of the year, compared to 81 at the same time a year ago.
Kansas City recorded 130 homicides in 2016.
Hugh Turner of Kansas City is a van operator for a moving company. He said he hired Smith when Smith was 14 as part of his moving crew. Turner described Smith as a no-nonsense, hard-working guy.
“Marcell never bothered anybody,” Turner said. “He wasn’t a troublemaker.”
Turner added Smith was trying to get into truck driving.
“He had just gotten his CDL,” Turner said. “He was trying to go to a driving school, but I was going to teach him myself. That was right before he passed. He was trying to improve himself and get himself on the right track.”
Smith’s mother, Jamesetta Weaver, said the aspiring truck driver was trying to make a way for his two young children, a girl and a boy. He smiled often and was known to goof around with family, Weaver said.
“He loved his family,” she said.
Unfortunately, Weaver said, the family didn’t have life insurance for Smith. They have set up a GoFundMe page to help raise money to cover funeral expenses.
Stevie Wakes, pastor at Olivet Industrial Baptist Church in Kansas City, Kan., said Smith’s death was a reminder of the violence that plagues the metro area.
“Marcell was a good young man and we’re very upset by this,” Wakes said. “We pray for justice in this situation. The violence, period, in our community is sickening.”
Smith’s death was the second tragedy to hit the family in the last two years. His older sister, 48-year-old Chandra Weaver, was killed in a Nov. 2015 wreck involving a Kansas City police SUV.
Police said Chandra Weaver died when a police SUV that had the right of way struck her vehicle at 83rd Street and the Paseo.