KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Family members identified 22-year-old Nikko Manning and 28-year-old Jasity Strong as two of the victims of an overnight shooting at 57th Street and Prospect Avenue in Kansas City, Missouri.
Manning was celebrating his birthday with his family.
“I’m trying to hold it together. I have cried for hours I think,” said Nikko’s father Kenny Manning. “I’ve cried all the fluid out of my body.”
Manning said he was inside a building while his son and wife were outside getting a pair of shoes out of their car. He said he heard a thunderous noise of “hundreds” of gunshots.
When Manning ran outside, he found his wife and son huddled together. Nikko’s parents gave their son chest compressions while waiting for first responders.
“All my life, I’ve been his protector,” Manning said. “Even though he was a big man now, at that moment, I couldn’t protect him.”
Manning died at the scene.
His family describes him as a giving young man who put others first, even traveling to Jamaica on a service trip to build homes.
Jasity Strong was also celebrating her birthday when she was killed.
Her family gathered Sunday to begin planning her funeral rather than celebrating on the day of her 28th.
“Losing a child you gave birth to, your first child, your first love, that’s the worst pain you can go through," said Tamika Jenkins, Strong’s mother. "It’s the worst pain you can go through, and I wouldn’t wish that on nobody.”
Jenkins said Strong was out with friends Saturday. Still, she called her daughter just after midnight to wish her a happy birthday.
But she never imagined that phone call would be the last time she heard from her firstborn.
“I’m heartbroken. My heart is shattered. My insides are hollow,” Jenkins said. “I don’t care about nothing.”
Jenkins said Strong had a bubbly personality and loved to spend time with her children, ages 6 and 1.