Family: Thomas Dean died lending a helping hand

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A former pastor is one of Kansas City's latest homicide victims. On Sunday, his family said they are looking for justice.

Police said 58-year-old Thomas Dean was shot Saturday afternoon in the Waldo area on 78th Street near Wornall.  Police say his body was found in front of a home there.

"As a minister, he felt compelled to offer his help to any one in need and to try diffuse a tense situation whenever it arose, which is what happened yesterday, which led to the unfortunate circumstances," his son Thomas, said.

Court documents reveal witnesses told police Dean was having a conversation, which some witnesses described as an argument, with the driver of a car that had pulled up to the driveway.

Witnesses said a California man, 37-year-old David Allen, was a passenger in the car. They told police Allen got out of the car, walked towards Dean and pulled a .38 caliber handgun from his waist and shot Dean.

Police said Allen took off running, but was found a few blocks away with the gun in his pants pocket near a park on 84th Street.

"We do know a man is in custody and we as a family are looking for justice at this point in return for the life that we have lost," Dean's son said.

His son said Dean was a former minister.

"Always filling in for other ministers if they needed to go in vacation or personal time for their own families for whatever was going on in their churches.  He was always stepping in to help," the family said.

They said Dean was also a husband, father and grandfather to many.  They said he gave his time and energy despite his ailing health.

"If it was within his power to drop whatever he was doing he would do it.  Didn't matter if he was physically supposed to be doing it or not. He would," Dean's son said.

They family said Dean was at that home Saturday lending a hand to someone he knew moving in.

The family also said they are not happy with how police communicated this situation with them, but would not comment any further on that at this time.

KCMO Police ID victim, alleged shooter in 78th Street murder
KCMO Police: Homicide investigation continues, suspect in custody

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