The past tense doesn’t come easily to the family members of Dominic Young Jr., the 9-year-old boy who died after he was hit by a stray bullet late Saturday.
“We still include his name because we’re so used to him being present, we’re so used to him — Dominic Jr. — being present...This is unbelievable,” said Dominic’s mother, Christine Anderson.
She held a photograph of Dominic in front of reporters.
The boy’s parents and other family members shared memories Tuesday of the 9-year-old, who was described as a child with a loving and joyful personality. And while no new information has been released in the investigation, family members say they’re confident justice will be served.
The parents and other family members of Dominic gathered Tuesday afternoon for a press conference with KC Mothers in Charge, an anti-violence organization, in a call for help from the community. They also joined to talk about the life of the boy, who was a student at Ingels Elementary School in the Hickman Mills School District. He was the second-oldest of five children.
Denise McCraney, Dominic’s great-grandmother, was one of several family members who attended the press conference Tuesday. McCraney said Dominic was at her house just a couple of days before he was shot in the middle of a gun battle between two other vehicles in Kansas City.
“True enough, there’s no reason that a parent, a grandparent, a great-grandparent, anyone should have to ever live in a place, in a time that they’re burying their child,” McCraney said, adding that Dominic’s classmates and family members have all been affected by his death.
“I’m just asking, whomever it may be that done such a tragic act, I just want you to know you can be forgiven. You come forth, you admit your faults, your shortcomings, your wrong. Ask the Lord to forgive you and let justice be done because there’s life after this one.”
McCraney also said this is the second time within 10 years the family has lost a loved one to a stray bullet. A little less than nine years ago, in August 2009, McCraney’s oldest son was an innocent bystander during a shootout in the 3500 block of Wayne Avenue and was killed.
Dominic’s aunt, Tiara Parker, said the boy’s goal in life was to be a football player. The boy also enjoyed playing basketball.
Anderson says the family is still looking for answers about that night. As of Tuesday afternoon, the family said they had no new information from the police investigation, though Anderson said a “few witnesses” have been questioned.
Dominic was fatally shot late by a st ray bullet in the middle of a rolling gun battle between two vehicles late Saturday night near the area of Emanuel Cleaver II Boulevard and U.S. 71, Kansas City police said Sunday.
The 9-year-old was shot after the car Dominic’s father was driving was hit by gunfire from two other vehicles that were engaged in a gunfight. The father told police he did not immediately realize his son, Dominic, had been shot.
The boy’s father was driving his two sons home to Grandview after spending the day roller skating, bowling and playing video games during a family outing.
The child was in Grandview when police were called, and officers found him in critical condition. He was taken to a hospital and was later pronounced dead.
Kansas City police are investigating the shooting and found a possible crime scene near Emanuel Cleaver II and U.S. 71.
Rosilyn Temple, of KC Mothers in Charge, joined Dominic’s family at the press conference Tuesday. Temple says it’s up to the community to help police solve the case. In a news release, the anti-violence organization described the fatal shooting as “senseless.”
“We have a problem as a community. We’re not stepping up. We’re not speaking out. We’ve got to do better,” Temple said. “We’re pointing our fingers at the wrong people. They’ve (the police) got a job to do...We have to help them as a community because this 9-year-old baby should not be gone. He was gone too soon, and it wasn’t an act of God; it was an act of man.”
No suspect information has been released in the case.
Reporter Ian Cummings contributed to this report.