Family of man killed in 23rd and Denver shooting desperate for answers as police search for suspect

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Two car crashes then a deadly shooting. More than a week later, police still want to find the killer, and the victim’s family is begging for answers.

“Got a call from my son, Brandon, and he told me Cortez might not make it, and the detective said he might not make it,” said Rochelle Douglas, Cornelius Coleman’s mother.

It was the last Tuesday in February when her son Cornelius Coleman, who goes by 'Cortez', was murdered in broad daylight near 23rd Street and Denver Avenue.

“Oh, it's indescribable," she said. "There are no words for it because I've seen other mothers on TV, and I just -- this is something you can`t describe, to lose a child. He was murdered, brutally murdered. Didn't have a chance to defend himself."

Police said the 37-year-old ran a stop sign at the intersection of 23rd and Denver and hit a woman in a Buick.

“He got to me really quickly," said the woman he hit, who wanted to remain anonymous. "I really had no way of avoiding it. He came out of nowhere, just knocked me over three lanes and into someone's yard. I was shaking so hard, and it was hurting so much.”

Cornelius Coleman

According to court documents, witnesses told police Coleman tried to run away from the crash. Police said it happened as Coleman sped away from another crash, several blocks away.

As Coleman tried to run from 23rd and Denver, the husband of a woman involved in the original crash showed up looking for a fight.

Witnesses say that man, Francisco Torres, pushed Coleman to the ground, then both men pulled out guns.

“After the wreck, he pulled up on him and shot him in cold blood,” said Mary Coleman, Cornelius Coleman’s sister.

Coleman's family said they don't know what Coleman was running from, but they do know he didn't deserve to die.

“These senseless murders, it's crazy. It`s ludicrous. It's getting out of control. He didn't deserve to go like that,” Mary Coleman said. “We'll never be able to smile and laugh with our brother again. He was really loved. Through it all, good and bad, he was loved.”

Coleman leaves behind five kids, all boys. His family wants Torres to be found and prosecuted.

“That's heartless, and you pulled away, and you still to this date have not brought yourself forward,” Mary Coleman said.

Police said Torres is still on the run. If you know anything about his whereabouts, call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477. Torres faces multiple charges when he is taken into custody.

Coleman's family has started a Go Fund Me page to support the five young sons he leaves behind. Find it here.

39.099727 -94.578567