Community reacts to KCMO’s 78th and 79th homicides

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Police are looking for two men in connection with an overnight shooting at a northeast Kansas City gas station.

Police responded to the shooting call shortly after midnight Saturday, at the BP gas station in the 4800 block of Independence Avenue near Chelsea. Investigators found two men dead, with gunshot wounds.

Police say these men and this dark blue or gray Chevrolet four-door vehicle were in the area at the time of the shooting. If you have information, investigators ask you to call 816-474-TIPS.

Police Chief Daryl Forte says there are the 78th and 79th homicides in Kansas City this year. Community activists Ron McMillan and Teresa Perry are speaking out about the rising number and what they say can be done to change the mentality when it comes to violence.

McMillan said, "We have to develop a discipline about ourselves. We need to stop killing each other. We have to pull each other in. We have to talk to our younger people who have these guns that have become so available."

McMillan believes a lot of the thought process about guns and violence begins at home.

"A lot of young people in these homes are not getting the training. They're watching these crazy movies and stuff and it's very influential about how to go out here and over nothing, shoot somebody," he said.

McMillan said conversations with Kansas City Police Chief Daryl Forte and data prove many of these deaths begin as trivial disputes.

"Little arguments; we've got all these people getting killed for. Sometimes it's over 10 cents. And it's not worth it,” he said.

McMillan also believes you have to look inside the minds of people before it gets to the point of such violence.

"When you take a gun in your hand and start shooting people, that's a serious point you're at. Where's your mental ability at? Are you on drugs?" Said McMillan.

Perry said there are many resources available for people who live in Kansas City; programs to help people in whatever situation they might find themselves in.

"Are we tapping into our resources the right way? Are we getting things done that are going to help meet the needs? [We need to] make sure we get more of the resource information into the streets, as well as everyone working together to take back our community. The person behind the gun; all of that's playing a big factor in what's going on in our community," she said.

McMillan said, "We need to rise up and address our own people about these guns and how we treat each other. We cannot live like that. We have to begin to restrain and talk to each other and teach our people to live better than that. It's taking too many lives."