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15-year-old shot dead in Kansas City for love of football and family is remembered

Terrell Bell spent last Sunday with his mother and other relatives at Worlds of Fun. His favorite ride was the Mamba roller coaster.

Her mother Janae Drake thought it would be just the first of many trips to the park this year. The family had been granted season passes months ago in anticipation of the summer. They had a lot to look forward to: Terrell, 15, had just finished his freshman year at Ruskin High School, where he was already a college football player.

But that was cut short on Tuesday when Terrell was shot dead in Sycamore Park, near 108th Street and Sycamore Terrace in Kansas City. He was one of four people killed that day in several unrelated shootings in the Kansas City area.

The loss was heartbreaking for the teenager’s family and those who knew him in school, in sports and in church, his cousin Shalessa Hobby-Davenport said.

“Everyone that Terrell came in contact with, he touched their lives,” Hobby-Davenport said. “It has been a devastation.”

Drake said his son was outgoing and smart.

“Her dream was to go to an all-black college and go to school and get into football and play football in college and get pro,” she said. “He was just great. He feared God, he was in church. He was awkward, he loved to dance TikTok. He liked to make jokes.

William Perkins, a football coach at Ruskin High who had known Terrell for several years, said he had “great potential”. In the freshman, Terrell was a defensive end and was scheduled to play as a linebacker in the fall.

On Thursday, the team had an early morning practice session where they took the time to talk about their feelings and share stories.

“They are suffering,” Perkins said.

Terrell has also been active in various organizations, including BAM, a youth mentorship program.

Drake recalled his son’s favorite memories on Friday. How he would accompany his two young sisters to the bus stop. As he loved to cook, especially seafood.

Drake said she wants justice in her son’s case and that better parenting and gun laws will help reduce violence.

Police announced Thursday that a minor had been arrested in connection with Terrell’s death. Authorities did not release any other information that could identify the accused minor and directed investigations into the criminal case to the Jackson County Family Court Division.

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