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Parents who lost child to gun violence react to death of 11-year-old Kourtney Freeman

'It's an empty spot in you for the rest of your life'
Kourtney Freeman
Posted at 11:39 PM, Apr 15, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Thomas Simmons and Rosilyn Temple lost children to gun violence in Kansas City, Missouri. Both agree the killings must end.

“You can compare a killing in Kansas City to a commercial, 'You're guaranteed one,'" said Pat Clarke, president of the Oak Park Neighborhood. 

Kourtney Freeman, 11, was shot and killed Wednesday, April 10.

Her death is a grim reminder of the prevalence of violence in the community.

“When you look at the faces of the family, and without saying a word, you can see the hurt; it don't measure up, it just don't add up,” Clarke said. 

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Simmons lost his son to gun violence a year ago.  

“Every day that goes by, not one day that goes by I don't think about my son,” Simmons said. "It's an empty spot in you for the rest of your life that'll never leave you.” 

Temple lost her son in 2011.

“You have an out-of-body experience," Temple said. "Everybody is around ... and you are just trying to breathe, just trying to live another minute sometimes. When you carry a child for nine months, you bond. That's a bond that I can't explain.” 

Now, she is helping Kourtney's family process and mourn their loss.

"I said enough is enough before, but Kansas City has to do better," Temple said. "We have to find one common goal where we can come together. We have to come together and stop this violence.”