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Family grieves after death of young son, brother from gun violence

Teen's death marks 159 homicides in 2023 in Kansas City, Missouri
Vigil for Aaron Amparan
Posted at 10:26 PM, Nov 04, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-05 17:59:57-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Teenager Aaron Amparan is dead and the dozens of people who came to his vigil Saturday are hurting.

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"Four sisters, four brothers, now, we lost one, one of our brothers," said Sylvia Escobedo, Amparan's sister.

Sylvia Escobedo, Aaron Amparan's sister

15-year-old Amparan died after a shooting Friday in a Northeast Kansas City neighborhood.

On Saturday, family and friends gathered for a candlelight vigil at the corner of East 13th Street and White Avenue, the same spot where officers found Amparan.

Amparan's death was the 159th homicide of 2023 in Kansas City, Missouri.

"I just never thought the baby I was taking care of, I would be planning his funeral right now, and it really hurts me because they took a young baby," Escobedo said.

His death adds to the number of family and friends grieving for the city's homicide victims.

"Knowing that my brother got killed here, near our bus stop, it’s just very sad," Escobedo said.

It's a scary reality that impacts family, friends and neighbors.

"My first reaction was kinda just teary eyes," said Lauren Kyles. "Just teary eyes."

Lauren Kyles, who's lived in the neighborhood for 20 years

Kyles has lived in the neighborhood for 20 years and watched Amparan grow up.

"It’s really heartbreaking," Kyles said. "It didn’t use to be like this. I grew up, raised and born in Kansas City, and you could run up and down the street, you could be out at night and you didn’t have to worry about all that shooting."

Kyles laments that her neighborhood changed.

"Every weekend, almost, you’ll hear a shooting," she said.

Amparan's sister says nothing will get in her way as she works to find those responsible for her brother's death.

"I will do justice for my brother," Escobedo said. "Takes me what it takes me, money, how I have to spend money, do everything, but I will get justice for Aaron."