KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Police are investigating the death of a 22-year-old man in the Westport area early Sunday morning, and interviewing witnesses, including possibly, the Kansas City mayor’s own son.
When they arrived near 40th & Mill at about 2:00 a.m., police found Kendrick WIlliams, 22, suffering from a gunshot wound. He was taken to an area hospital where he later died. His mother, La Tanya Williams didn’t want to talk on camera but said her son was a rapper and had just performed in Westport Saturday night. She hopes surveillance video from nearby stores will help police find the person or persons responsible for taking her son’s life.
Justin Carr and Justin Hammond were childhood friends of Williams and considered him a mentor.
“He loved music,” Carr said. “That was his dream to try to go somewhere, get out of the neighborhood with the music and stuff. We grew up and played basketball and he use to tell us when we were little don’t get into this street stuff.”
Hammond says Williams was attending Vatterott College and looking forward to working in the heating and air conditioning field.
“I think it was just a random shooting,” Hammond said. “That’s what people do now, they just shoot at people to get their name up.”
Kansas City Mayor Sly James’ son, Kyle James was reportedly a witness to the shooting.
In a statement about what happened, Danny Rotert, a spokesperson in the mayor’s office said:
“I am not certain what happened this weekend and neither I, nor the Mayor, can comment on what took place.
But the incident isn’t any more or less tragic than any other act of violence just because the mayor’s son might have been a witness.
Neither the Mayor nor I can comment on what Kyle saw, but I am sure if he saw anything he will help the police, just as any of us would.”
Police have not released the names of any suspects or a motive in this case.
“There’s a lack of respect for life, if there is a lack of respect for life they don’t care who they kill,” said Bishop Tony Caldwell with Stop the Killing.
Bishop Caldwell is a member of the Stop the Killing KC Coalition which is an organization that serves as a resource to provide hope and help those in need.
“The senseless killing has gotten way out of hand,” Caldwell said. “What I mean by senseless is ‘well you looked at me because you mugged me, I’m going to take your life now or you bumped into me, I’m going to take your life now.'”
Carr and Hammond say their thoughts and prayers are with the Williams family.
If you have any information on this crime, you’re asked to call the TIPS Hotline at (816) 474-TIPS.