When Geneva Smith got the call her son was in trouble, she didn’t know how bad it was at the time.
“MarQuay called me and said, ‘mom, he’s hurt,'” said Smith.
She later found her son had been shot Monday morning while visiting friends.
“I’m not OK. I’m just doing. That’s the only way I can explain it. I’m just doing,” said Smith. “Losing a child, somebody close? Never. It’s unexplainable. There’s not even a word that you can use.”
While she can’t make sense of losing her son, she wants people to remember who he was and how he brought everyone a smile.
“He had a kind heart. He loved everybody. Biggest smile. He was so goofy,” said Geneva. “He loved basketball. He only liked football because his big brother played football. He was MarQuay’s biggest fan.”
Geneva says it hurts her heart that big brother, MarQuay called 911.
After talking to MarQuay, Geneva got a call from Wichita police officers as she drove to the home where Royale was shot.
“But before I could get there, I got another phone call and the officer was telling me, and I was just wanting to know what hospital I could meet you guys at,” said Geneva. “And she was like, there’s no hospital. There’s no hospital.”
Royale was gone. And Geneva describes what came next as disbelief and an out-of-body experience filled with pain.
“So I don’t know,” said Geneva. ” I left my body is how I explain it.”
While police still have an open investiation into what happened, Geneva is now thinking about a funeral.
And trying to come up with money for a funeral. Family members have started a GoFundMe for Royale’s funeral.
“The help is needed there, in all honesty,” said Geneva. “I hate to say it, but it just is who needs life insurance on a 9 year old?”
Geneva says she is looking forward to a candlelight vigil at 7 p.m. Friday at the corner of 2239 East MacArthur. There is a BMX park there where Royale would often skate.
Royale’s skateboard and backpack remain on his mother’s floor for now.
“He’s a gamer. He loved to cuddle with mom and watch TV. But he did love to skateboard,” said Geneva. “That’s his skateboard. I can’t move it off the floor and this is like a pet peeve of mine every day I’d come home from work… ‘Royale get your backpack and skateboard off the floor.’ And now I can’t even move it.”
Geneva says every day was the same, telling each other I love you. Sunday when she dropped him off at a friend’s house was no exception.
“‘I love you Roy, I’ll see you tomorrow.’ And ‘I love you, too momma,'” said Geneva. “There’s nothing you can say. There’s nothing you can say to comfort this type of pain. A mother shouldn’t ever have to bury her child. Ever.”