Joyful teen who fled to America as a refugee killed while working at KCK laundro…


December Htoo gripped life the way he wrestled, doing it his way with a relentless smile and energy.

“It didn’t matter what we coaches taught him, he had his own style,” said Zach Davies, his wrestling coach at J.C. Harmon High School in Kansas City, Kan. “He had more natural talent than I’ve seen in a long time.

“He lived in his own world, but it was a big, nice, happy world.”

It’s all gone now, Davies lamented.

The 15-year-old fireball was shot dead in a coin laundry where he worked Friday night.

He had come so far. December’s family escaped to America through an Asian refugee camp in his early childhood, and his happiness grew on everyone, Davies said.

“He was so full of joy,” Davies said. “The maddest part of this is that he came here for a better life — for a safe place.”

December became Kansas City, Kan.’s 33rd homicide victim this year when he was shot four times and left in the laundry in the 2400 block of South 34th Street in the Argentine neighborhood, where his body was discovered Saturday morning.



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