By Emily Rittman
KANSAS CITY, Missouri (KCTV) — Community members who are struggling to cope with the death of a 14-year-old who was stabbed inside Northeast Middle School honored Manuel “Manny” Guzman Thursday night.
The Winnwood Skate Center held a “donation skate” to show support for Guzman’s family. Admission and skates were free. Donations were collected for his family.
Guzman was a regular at the Winnwood Skate Center. Employees and customers expected to see him there every weekend. When the owners and managers heard about his death, they wanted to invite his family and friends to remember him in a place that he loved.
“We saw him every Friday and Saturday night. He was just happy,” Winnwood Skate Center Manager Emily Rooks said. “I just remember every time I’d walk out here, ‘Oh, there goes Manny,’ and he’d be zipping across the floor. He definitely made a presence here at the rink.”
Guzman’s young friends miss him.
“He was very respectful. He was a person you could tell anything,” Kennedy Sprague said. “Very understanding. Just a very easy person to talk to.”
Parents of Guzman’s friends also attended the event. Many were thinking of his mother and what she has endured with the loss of her son.
“I wanted to come out and show my love for him,” parent Roshelle Thompson said.
Manny’s mother, Vicenta Guzman, was surrounded by people who loved her son. Several members of the crowd hugged her Thursday night.
“That was her baby. She raised him very respectful,” relative Lisa Wiseman said. “Bright young kid. Very outgoing. Very loving. He had high ambitions.”
A moment of silence was held as members of the crowd grieved.
“We just need justice for our baby,” Wiseman said.
A 14-year-old suspect is in custody at the Juvenile Detention Center. They are charged in juvenile court with first-degree murder, armed criminal action and unlawful use of a weapon.
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