KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Kansas City, Kansas, police on Wednesday released the name of a J.C. Harmon High School student who was killed in a shooting days before Thanksgiving.
At 16 years old, Mustafa Mohammed is the youngest homicide victim in KCK so far this year.
He died at the hospital following a Nov. 26 shooting at the Crestwood Apartments on Parallel Parkway.
Although they weren't blood-related, Sebastian Navarro was one of Mohammed's closest friends and considered him a brother. The two met playing sports at J.C. Harmon.
"He was a sweet kid. He was funny. And you know he fit right in with us,” Navarro said. “He was a great kid. Our personalities master real well and he became a really close guy to me.”
Navarro said Mohammed also was a loving uncle, survived by a large family that includes two sisters and a younger brother.
Mohammed's family are in the thoughts of many who knew him.
"We try to go to places that we went with him. As a group, we just remember how great he was,” said Rhelia Santos, one of Mohammed's friends. “We would laugh about the things he did.”
On Wednesday, J.C. Harmon principal Geoffrey Markos sent a letter to parents informing them of Mohammed’s death and urging them to talk with their children about the loss. Markos said in the letter that counselors would be available to students.
Police said their initial investigation revealed that an argument led to the shooting.
"Kids dying through gun violence and everything makes me mad, makes me sad that we have to learn about things like this," Santos said.
Friends are confident police will find Mohammed's killer.
"It hurts really bad. You know, he needs justice,” Navarro said. “And I'm just praying to God every day he gets it. And I believe that he will get it.”
Police initially questioned a person of interest in this case, but that individual was never charged.
Anyone with information in the killing is asked to contact the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477 (TIPS).
Read the full text of Markos' letter to J.C. Harmon parents below:
Families of our JC Harmon Students,
With a heavy heart I have to write this letter letting you know of the death of one of our students. On November 26th, 16-year-old Mustafa Mohammed, a junior at our school, was killed. He is greatly missed and I ask that you keep his family in your thoughts.
Many of our students learned of his death weeks ago as counselors were on hand to help students through their grief.
You may wonder why you are just hearing from the school district about the loss of our student, but today is when the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department released Mustafa’s name to the public. In addition, they are asking anyone with information to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS.
I ask that you continue to talk to your students and find out how they are dealing with the loss. If they need to talk to a counselor or an adult please know that we are here for them.