Terrell Bell spent last Sunday with his mom and other relatives at Worlds of Fun. His favorite ride was the Mamba roller coaster.
His mom Janae Drake thought it would be just the first of many excursions to the park this year. The family had gotten season passes months ago, in anticipation of the summer. They had a lot to look forward to: 15-year-old Terrell had recently completed his freshman year at Ruskin High School, where he was already a varsity football player.
But all that was cut short Tuesday when Terrell was shot and killed at Sycamore Park, near 108th Street and Sycamore Terrace in Kansas City. He was one of four people killed that day in several unrelated shootings across the Kansas City area.
The loss has been heartbreaking for the teen’s family and people who knew him through school, sports and church, his cousin Shalessa Hobby-Davenport said.
“Everybody who Terrell came into contact with, he touched their lives,” Hobby-Davenport said. “This has been a devastation.”
Drake said her son was outgoing and smart.
“His dream was to go to an all-Black college and go to school and get into football and play football through college and go pro,” she said. “He was just awesome. He was God-fearing, he was in church. He was goofy, he loved to TikTok dance. He loved to crack jokes.”
William Perkins, a football coach at Ruskin High who had known Terrell for several years, said he had “great potential.” As a freshman, Terrell was a defensive end and was slated to play as a linebacker in the fall.
On Thursday, the team had an early morning workout where they took time to talk about their feelings and share stories.
“They’re hurting,” Perkins said.
Terrell was also active in various organizations including BAM, a youth mentoring program.
On Friday, Drake recalled favorite memories of her son. How he would walk his two younger sisters to the bus stop. How he liked to cook, especially seafood.
Drake said she wants to see justice done in her son’s case and that better parenting and gun laws would help reduce violence.
On Thursday, police announced a juvenile was arrested in connection with Terrell’s death. Officials have released no other identifying information about the accused juvenile and directed inquiries regarding the criminal case to Jackson County’s family court division.