KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- For the first time in a long time, guns are killing more people than car accidents in Missouri. Many families in the metro area know the pain that gun violence inflicts all too well.
Three months ago, Ashley Newson's little cousin walked inside a 7-Eleven in south Kansas City with her dad. Minutes later, after getting some bubble gum, six-year-old Angel Hooper and her father stepped outside and headed to their car when police say a gunman drove by and shot up the store.
The first grader, hit in her head, died instantly.
"It was just really hard because she died in October and her birthday was in December and then you have the holidays," Newson said. "You come into the new year without your precious baby girl, your cousin, your friend. Bullets don't have a name and that could've been the next doctor or lawyer."
According to new statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control, gun deaths are now the leading killer of people in the show me state.
Researchers say in 2013 the number of gun deaths passed vehicle deaths by a margin of 880 to 781.
"Our problem is illegal guns on our street of Kansas City," said Rosilyn Temple, president of KC Mothers in Charge. The group is a non-profit organization of mothers whose children have been killed.
Four years ago, Temple's 26-year-old son, Antonio Thompson, was shot to death inside his apartment, and his killer hasn’t been caught.
"Guns are killing and it's getting in the wrong people's hands that are killing our children, taking lives," Temple said.
"I just try to stay strong in my faith and remain positive," Newson said.