Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Elder students pay respects to classmate

'I know everybody at the school is going to miss him. He was one of my best friends, you know?'

By Jane Prendergast
Enquirer staff writer

The faces of students show a variety of emotions during a memorial service for Maurice Kennedy at Elder High School on Tuesday morning. Kennedy was shot and killed across the street from the school Sunday evening .
WEST PRICE HILL - The boys of Elder High School filed into their stadium Tuesday morning for something no one can remember the school ever having to do before - memorialize a slain student.

A picture of senior Maurice Kennedy, shrouded in fabric of Elder purple, sat on an easel at the front of the crowd. The 17-year-old was shot to death Sunday night across the street from the school.

"Elder was part of Maurice's way out, his opportunity for a better life for himself,'' said Roger Auer, campus minister. "But more importantly, a better life for his family, so he could help his mother.''

He said Kennedy also overcame the challenge of being a non-Catholic, black student at a virtually all-white parochial high school, one of the oldest in Cincinnati.

Across Glenway Avenue from the school, in front of the tax business where Kennedy was shot, his friends built a memorial of candles, stuffed animals, cards and a can of C2 Coke.

Police said the shooting was a result of ongoing disputes between neighborhood teens. They have not said what part, if any, they think Kennedy might have had in those disputes.

In August, Kennedy was charged with obstructing official business, resisting arrest and drug abuse in an incident after the Black Family Reunion in which police said they saw him throw a bag of marijuana into a car, according to Cincinnati police reports.

Prep Sports Radio Network, which broadcasts Elder games on WBOB-AM (1160), tonight will host an on-air community forum about the crime problem in Price Hill, 7-9 p.m. at Champions Grill & Bar on Crookshank Road in Westwood. The public is welcome.
That incident started when officers told Kennedy and some friends that they should leave the area, according to the report. Kennedy didn't, and he continued running in the downtown street, police officers said in the report. They chased him and shot him with a Taser after one officer said he saw the suspected drugs get thrown in a car.

At Elder, Kennedy was known as "Mo Mo"and "Reese Cup."

Most people talked about his contagious smile. He taught his friend Charles Latham some dance moves.

"I know everybody at the school is going to miss him,'' said Shawn Paige, also a senior. "He was one of my best friends, you know?''


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