Parents of a former Lawrence High School student who was shot last weekend in Kansas City, Mo., said Tuesday their son had gone through two surgeries in the hospital.
“He’s doing really good. He’s alert,” said Jeffrey Belaire’s mother Jacqueline Simms of Topeka. “He can remember coaches. He remembers Lawrence High a lot, and his friends from Lawrence came to visit.”
According to Kansas City, Mo., police, Belaire, 18, suffered numerous gunshot wounds to his back during a large party Friday night inside a residence in the 3900 block of Warwick Boulevard, two blocks east of Main Street in Kansas City, Mo.
Belaire played football last season at Washburn Rural High School in Topeka, graduated at the semester and was attending Butler County Community College where he planned to play football. He attended Lawrence schools off and on from 2001 to 2007 and again from 2009 to 2010 when he was at Lawrence High, where he also played football.
Simms said her son was shot three times and that medical staff hoped he could sit up on Tuesday so they could perform some therapy and see how he does.
“He’s doing fair. He’s doing OK,” she said. “Just keep praying for him. We thank everyone from Lawrence and Topeka and Butler County.”
Family members would not disclose the hospital where Belaire currently is being held due to safety concerns.
According to a police report, two witnesses who were DJs at the party, attended by 150 to 200 people, told police they saw two men with handguns before the shooting, and one of the DJs said he saw both men firing into the crowd.
Sgt. Stacey Graves, a Kansas City police spokeswoman, said Tuesday afternoon a 23-year-old woman was also shot at the party. Her injuries were not life-threatening, Graves said, and police continued to investigate the incident.
Family members said they were still waiting to learn more information from police about the investigation. Simms said a witness told her she saw a fight before shots were fired and that Belaire might have been caught in the middle of it.
“There were some people arguing. It wasn’t Jeffrey,” Simms said.
His father Jeff Belaire Sr., of Lawrence, said his son got into trouble as a juvenile but that family members were proud of the recent progress he made, including making it to college.
“After being in trouble he was showing people that you can make mistakes, but you can overcome them,” he said.