Kansas City family remembers teen, 17, gunned down while playing with sister, 7

Posted at 5:57 PM, Aug 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-23 09:39:06-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The family of a Southeast High School student killed while playing with his sister outside their Vineyard Northwest home has many unanswered questions.

The death of Zavien Hall is a profound loss to his great-grandparents, who remember the 17-year-old as the one who often visited them.

"My grandson won't even be here at the family gatherings," Jannie Hall, Zavien's great-grandmother, said. "He won't be here. We won't see him any more."

His great-grandfather, Emanuel Hall, recalls Zavien as a young man with a big appetite.

"He wouldn't want anybody to fix his plate he would fix his own plate and he would sit right there on that couch and eat," Emanuel Hall said. "He was just a kid's kid."

On Wednesday evening Zavien was playing with his 7-year-old sister, Jazmine, when police say someone walked up to him, started arguing, then opened fire.

"I said, 'Why would somebody want to do this to him?' He didn't hurt anybody. He didn't carry a gun. He wasn't this kind of person. It wasn't him," Jannie Hall said.

Family members said the suspect then shot the little girl at least six times. Relatives threw her in a car and raced to the hospital.

"It's another thing to harm somebody who can't defend themselves," Jamon Hall, a cousin of one the victims, said. "It's not right man."

The little girl continues to recover at the hospital.

Hall, a junior at southeast high school, was taken to the hospital but didn't make it.

"He had his whole life ahead of him," Jamon said. "He had his whole entire life; He didn't even get a chance to even finish school."

Neighbors ran after the shooter but didn't catch him.

The teen is the latest love Hall's great-grandfather has lost due to gun violence. Emanuel's brother was murdered in 1985, his son in 2006 and a nephew in 2016.

"Home is your safest environment and when you can't even do something at your home, you can't even play around your home, but you can't even indulge in family at home, that's even worse," Emanuel Hall said.

There are several security cameras around the property that hopefully will help detectives solve this case. At this time police haven't released a description of the suspect.

Anyone with information is asked to call the KC Crime Stoppers Tips Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story used a photo, provided by family, that was not a photo of Zavien Hall. The photo has been removed.