The mother of a man killed as a rap concert at the Uptown Theater was wrapping up says his family is reeling over the loss of a vibrant young man.
Margo Lampkin of Kansas City, Kansas, said it was her son, 22-year-old Michael Silas Jr., who was fatally shot May 11 in a parking lot near the Uptown Theater.
Kansas City police did not confirm the victim's identity, but Lampkin told The Star the victim was her son.
"I would like people to know that that was my baby and that I loved him," Lampkin said.
According to Lampkin, Silas "had a background" that often found him the target of violence, but he had begun turning his life around in recent months after sustaining immense personal tragedy — the death of his 3-month-old daughter in February.
In addition to his deceased daughter, Silas leaves behind four children, each younger than 5 years of age.
"After she died, Michael told me he was going to change his life for the better," Lampkin said.
It was around that time that Silas made the decision to leave his Kansas City, Kansas, neighborhood where Lampkin said "he didn't have a good life" to start anew with his girlfriend across the state line.
Since the move, Lampkin said, Silas became active with his church, found a full-time job as a forklift operator and began avoiding the sources of mischief that had previously plagued him.
"He had become a homebody," she said. "People didn't even know where he lived, and he wanted it that way."
Few details have been released on the homicide Friday night.
Police responded to a shooting at a parking lot at 37th Street and Broadway Boulevard at 11:28 p.m. They found a man dead from a gunshot wound. Since then, the police have released no additional information — including the identity of the victim.
At the time of the shooting, popular Memphis rapper Yo Gotti was wrapping up his concert at the nearby Uptown Theater. The concert featured former Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver-turned-music artist Dwayne Bowe as an opening act.
Uptown Theater owner Larry Sells said there was a disturbance inside the theater near the end of the show, but it was minor, he said, and he does not know if it was connected to the shooting that happened outside in the parking lot.
"I know nobody had a gun in the theater," he said.
Security at the doors checked all bags and everyone entering was searched with a metal detecting wand.
"We had a little trouble at the end (of the show), but it didn't seem to be anything much," he said. "We had a good crowd. Mostly women."
Sells said in the 24 years he has owned the Uptown there has not been a shooting or stabbing in the theater.
Lampkin said she believes acquaintances from Silas' past may be to blame.
"I've heard a past associate saw him, and I think they called others and it grew from there," Lampkin says. "But really at this point I just don't know what happened."
For now, all she knows is the man she described as the star of the family is gone.
"I don't care what it was. We'd have gatherings and barbecues, everybody always waited on Michael. And when he got there everybody made noise. He was the star. And now our star is not here anymore. Our star has fallen.
"They don't know what they've done to me."
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call the TIPS Hotline, 816-474-8477.