Gaye Weston took a moment Saturday afternoon to compose herself.
The Kansas City mother was asked to reflect on the life of her son Brandon Johnson.
Johnson, 30, was shot and killed Friday morning in the 2800 block of Mersington Avenue.
Someone reported hearing gunshots to police about 5:45 a.m.
When they arrived, officers found Johnson down in the street with a gunshot wound.
Firefighters later declared Johnson dead.
The news hit Weston hard. Johnson was her oldest son, and he planned to celebrate a birthday Sept. 19.
He was the city’s 74th homicide victim of the year.
“I’m so sick of all of these killings,” Weston said.
The Kansas City man left behind a daughter, 6, a stepdaughter, 3, and an infant son born five months ago. He planned to marry the mother of his children next February.
Weston said Johnson worked as a before- and after-school teacher at Melcher Elementary School in Kansas City as part of the LINC Caring Communities program.
He was also a volunteer coach for youth athletics.
“He loved kids,” Weston said. “His dream was to try to open up a center for young boys to try to mentor them and keep them off of the streets.”
Paul Lichtenauer is the LINC site coordinator at Melcher Elementary. He said staff was off work Friday for professional development. He described Johnson as a hard worker who had a way with children.
“Brandon was a beloved guy,” Lichtenauer said. “The kids at Melcher love him. The staff that works with him, everybody loved being around him. He was a bright face. Always had a smile.”
Weston added Johnson was a fan of the Kansas City Chiefs and Royals. He attended the Chiefs’ final exhibition game Thursday with his fiancee, SharD’nae Whitmore, and a few friends.
“They tailgated and had a good time at the game,” Weston said. “And then this happens.”
No arrests have been announced in Johnson’s death. Police are asking anyone with information to call the Tips Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).