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Mother Of Boston Shooting Victim Reflects On Their Life Together

This article is more than 4 years old.

The phone wouldn't stop ringing for Carol Price. A seemingly endless stream of well-wishers called her every five minutes. When they couldn't reach her, they called her mother.

They called Monday to offer support and prayers after her 32-year-old son, Kendric Price, was fatally shot early Saturday in Dorchester — just down the street from her home. Police have not found the gunman and are looking for witnesses.

Meanwhile, Carol Price tried to stay focused on her son's funeral.

"I just have to stay standing," she said. "Stay vertical and keep it moving. I can't just sit down and give up."

Her focus keeps her going. She fills her time with tasks like arranging the funeral and cleaning her house after guests. The dizzying feat keeps her from crying, she said.

"The moment that I'm not busy, that's when I start breaking down," said Price, adding that she had cried for half an hour earlier in the day. "It was scary because I felt like I couldn't stop."

The last time she saw Kendric was late Friday, when he had gotten off work. Her son had told her that he wasn't going out. Shortly before 3 a.m., she received a call from a neighbor who was asking about Kendric. Police were on the street and neighbors knew the victim was tall like her son.

She didn't see him in his room, so she walked toward the flashing police lights down the street. She just had a feeling.

"I'm like, 'You know what, I know I'm going to find out some information that I don't want to find out.' But I had to go," the mother said, starting to cry. "But I knew when I got there, I knew that it wasn't going to be good."

She asked officers to describe what the victim was wearing. It was jeans, nice sneakers and a checkered shirt — her son's typical attire. Detectives said the victim had been shot in a garage attached to a house.

"When they called me to confirm that it was him, I already knew, but I was hoping that it wasn't going to be him," she said.

Days later, Price said the house feels strange without her son. He would always make her laugh and call her random names like "Melma," just to be funny.

The towering man also had a love of basketball that developed on a court just down the street from his house. Price said he loved it so much that he would occasionally sneak out to play.

"If I came looking for him at the basketball court," she said, "his friends would actually hide him. They'd be like, 'Your mom's coming, your mom's coming' and hide him behind the big dumpster that was up there."

Kendric Price, center, with other University of Michigan basketball players, in this 2006 file photo (Paul Sancya/AP)
Kendric Price, center, with other University of Michigan basketball players, in this 2006 file photo (Paul Sancya/AP)

He went on to become a standout player at Buckingham Browne & Nichols School in Cambridge. He then received an athletic scholarship at the University of Michigan.

One of his former teammates at Michigan, Jevohn Shepherd, remembered Price as a jokester on the court.

"Whenever I would get knocked down, Kendric would run by and ask, 'Are you gonna stay on the floor?' and keep playing," said Shepherd. "It would always make me laugh."

Shepherd also said Price helped him develop as a man.

"We were young men figuring it out life together," he said. "He really made that transition easier on me. I have to admit, he was a better man than me."

After Price graduated, he played in the NBA D-League with the Harlem Wizards. More recently, he served as an assistant coach for basketball teams at UMass Boston and Roxbury Community College.

But Carol Price said sports was not his only talent. He also played the piano.

Perhaps Price's most notable gift was his community service. He had started an organization to teach kids business and finance. His inspiration was his childhood friend, Steven Odom, who was killed when he was 13 — also by gunfire.

Price said she had comforted Odom's parents when their son died. Sadly, now they had a chance to return the kindness.

"[Odom's father] came over and embraced me yesterday," Price said. "They knew what I was going through and now I knew what they went through."

On a Monday afternoon, the ringing eventually proved too much for Price and she had to leave. She fretted over setting an ideal date for the funeral so everybody could come. She said funeral planning isn't something she's unfamiliar with.

"I've lost a lot of people in my life now," Price said. "Brothers and sisters. This is the toughest one."

This segment aired on March 5, 2019.

Jerome Campbell Reporter
Jerome Campbell was a WBUR Poverty and Justice Fellow whose reporting was supported by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project.



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