A month before he would be shot dead in a south Kansas City 7-Eleven, Norez Brock left his adoptive mother a gift.
The 26-year-old Kansas City aspiring musician called her, Rolanda Brock said, "out of the blue" just a month ago. He wanted to drop some love on the woman who took him in when he was a lost child at the age of 7.
In this moment, as she talked about her only son Sunday afternoon, she could set aside how it ended — with police telling her he had been shot while with friends in the convenience store at 11:15 p.m. Friday night at 10615 Blue Ridge Blvd.
The Jackson County Prosecutors Office Sunday evening announced that Theodist A. Lewis, 31, of Kansas City, was charged with second-degree murder and armed criminal action in the death of Norez Brock.
Court documents stated that surveillance video from the store showed Lewis confronting Brock in the store and arguing with him. Lewis left the store and went to his vehicle then returned and waited for Brock to leave the store.
Lewis shot Brock as he exited the store, then fled in his vehicle, police said.
Instead of the killing, Rolanda Brock thought of that 7-year-old boy she met when she was working weekends at the Spofford children's home in south Kansas City.
He was a child whose life was shaken — a ward of the state. Rolanda Brock was a social worker with Catholic Charities, earning extra pay at Spofford's residential campus for troubled children.
He was playful. He tried to trick his way out of taking showers, being scared to get wet. "He was so interesting," she said. "I fell in love with him."
And she also thought of the 26-year-old man, her grown son, who called her in March. He knew she was still recovering from a stroke. He knew he didn't always get by to see her.
But Norez Brock, a father of a young son, had plans, he told her. Friends said his big plans were in music. One friend wanted him to come out to California and give his talent a shot.
He told his mother he was going to make a new start. Get new footing. Work at a Burger King. And most of all, she said, "He told me, 'I love you and I want to be there for you.'"
"That's how I'll remember him," she said. He'll be that young man to her, grown from a wayward 7-year-old, "trying to do the right thing."
Police put out a public plea over the weekend, distributing a surveillance photo of "a person of interest," now identified as Lewis.
By Saturday night, a tip had come in. A caller told police the surveillance photo looked like a man whom a relative of a friend had said was heard saying he had killed someone Friday night.
Police went to a residence where they found Lewis hiding in a closet. Police said he was wearing clothes that appeared to be the same clothes worn during the shooting at the 7 Eleven. A shirt Lewis was wearing was also stained with blood, police said.
People who knew Norez Brock for his free-styling music, and as a friend, took his loss hard.
"He was a dreamer," said Isaac Jacobs, a former Kansas City resident now living in Northern California. "You give him a little bit of a tune and he could run with it. He could free-style. He could come up with something for anything."
Jacobs wanted to hook Brock up with a cousin in Sacramento who was in the recording business.
"Somebody would snatch him up" as a music star, Jacobs said. "He never gave up."
Norez Block's grandmother, WInnie Stuckey, figures her grandson was probably at work on his next set of plans the night he died.
He'd been through a lot of trouble in his life, she said. He never succeeded in public school. But he was a reader and a planner.
"He didn't always make it, but he always had a goal he was working on," she said. "He was kind and always supportive of us."
His adoptive family supported him back, Rolanda Brock said.
"The whole family circled around him and loved him," she said.