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Family left numb by sudden loss of man killed outside his Overland Park home

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – A New Year's Eve homicide has left a family grieving and police searching for a killer. Police and the victim's relatives want to know why someone shot and killed Steve Sawyer outside his home.

Sawyer was murdered Wednesday morning near Kessler and West 83rd Terrace. Police were at the homicide scene all day.

Fighting back tears, Walter Sawyer II told FOX 4 about the special bond he had with his oldest son.

"In the last few years, he was always around," Sawyer II said. “We just laughed, joked. He’d text me all the time, ‘Hey pops, love you.’”

The father and son last saw each other last week on Christmas Day.

"I loved that man. That's my son. Yeah, I loved him," Walter II said.

Now a New Year's Eve nightmare has gripped the hearts of the Sawyer family. Police say shortly after 6 a.m. that Sawyer stepped outside his Overland Park home to warm up his car when someone drove up and shot him multiple times.

Neighbors reported hearing yelling before the gunman sped off. Officers arrived and found the 48-year-old Sawyer, who had an adult daughter and was a chemical engineer at Cargill chemical company, dead in the street near his parked car.

"He finally landed this real good job, and every time I'd say, 'how ya' doing buddy?' he'd say, 'dad, I'm blessed, I'm blessed.'" Walter II said. “I’m just numb. I was looking forward to seeing him tomorrow."

Relatives say Sawyer's car was still running, the driver-side door open and the trunk up when police arrived to the scene.

“He didn’t deserve this,” the victim’s brother, Walter Sawyer III, said.

Family members say Sawyer didn't have any known enemies.

"It's so senseless. They need to find out who did this," Sawyer III said.

Sawyer lived at the home with his girlfriend for the last three years. His death is the sixth homicide in Overland Park in 2014.

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