UPDATE | 04-27-2011
The mother of a suspected killer says Ryder Spillman's death is the end result of a teen turf war, but she says her son isn't guilty of murder . She said her son shot the gun out of fear.
ORIGINAL POST | 04-25-2011
ROELAND PARK, Kansas - Sixteen-year-old Ryder Spillman was found shot to death Sunday morning near Thomas Edison Elementary School in Kansas City, Kansas. Neighbors say children playing on the school playground found his body just feet away from a kindergarten class in the 1000 block of Locust.
The Shawnee Mission North High School student had a close circle of friends who said they grew up together at the Roeland Park Skate Park.
"It's just weird today (Monday) being the first day back at school without him. He just could make anyone laugh; lighten your mood when you are mad beyond belief. It is just really sad that this happened to such a good person because there is no one like Ryder," said classmate Mary Murphy.
His friend Chris English said he is still in shock over the loss.
"You knew it was Ryder's laugh you couldn't miss it, he was tall and lanky and you always just saw Ryder walking around just walking. This park is like family, we are so close, it's hard to describe. It's unreal he was so young," said English.
KCK police said Monday they have someone in custody and charges are pending.
In the meantime, his friends want people to remember Ryder as the caring, funny, outgoing kid they said he was.
The Roeland Park Skate Park will be closed for a month. The city said they received numerous complaints about vandalism and misuse of the park. It will reopen May 23.
His friends said losing Ryder and now their park where they spend almost every day there has been tough.