LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – On May 22, 2007, Curtis Lee Brown was shot seven times in the back at 35th Street and Broadway. Curtis's brother, Chaz Brown, got the first call about his brother's death.
"I thought it was a joke," Chaz said, "I called one of my other buddies and he confirmed it."
"My nephew and my son said 'Momma get it together, get it together. We've got to get down there.' We went down to the area where Curtis was gunned down," his mother, Monica Morris, said.
Curtis was only 17 years old when he was shot to death.
"He was loving he was caring he was always trying to help someone," Morris said. "When I say help, I'm talking buying Pampers for babies that wasn't even his but just because they need Pampers."
"When someone kills your son, it takes you to another place. And it's a place where I don't want to be," Monica said.
This dark place that Morris is talking about? It's a place she didn't stay for very long. Instead of focusing on what her son's killer took from her, Morris puts her energy into what she can instead. Inside her home are hundreds of school supplies. At the end of August, Morris hosted an event to offer school supplies and haircuts for underprivileged children.
"A lot of children might not be able to afford haircuts, school supplies. That's where we come in," Morris said.
It's just one of several events Morris has held throughout the year in Curtis' memory. She doesn't do it alone. Curtis' brothers have stepped up to the plate and help their mom organize the service projects. Chaz was 16 when his brother died.
"We had a lot of memories," Chaz said.
Now, Chaz's memories of his brother continue, through a community picnic he organizes each May.
Morris' next community event is in October to celebrate Curtis' birthday.
On the same day Curtis was buried, LMPD arrested Jeffrey Flanigan for Brown's murder. Flanigan was charged with murder and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon. But according to our research, he's no longer in jail. It's a point worth mentioning but one Morris' said she doesn't focus on.
"You can find strength," Morris said, "strength you didn't even know you had after dealing with a tragedy."