KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Police are looking for a man they say held a 14-year-old boy at gunpoint while the middle-schooler was walking to Northeast Middle School at about 8 a.m. Wednesday.
Officers say a Hispanic man in his mid-20s pulled up next to the student, who was walking to school, jumped out of the car, and pointed a gun at the boy. Police say the man then demanded the student hand over his backpack and the shoes on his feet. Officers say the man then jumped back into a white Pontiac and took off.
Neighbor Cesar Miranda said there are constantly children near his home.
"There's always kids that wait on the bus on each corner of my house so that's scary," he said.
Miranda said it's not uncommon to see police patrolling since the school is so close, and he normally feels safe.
"This poor child was afraid, didn't know what was going on, and for an adult to victimize a child like this, it's just pretty pitiful. The child had a backpack and shoes, freely gave those up to the suspect and the suspect even tried to find even more items that they could steal from this small child," Kansas City Police Sergeant Kari Thompson said.
"I wouldn't know what to do if someone came at me at gunpoint. Especially for a little kid. What does he want a backpack for? To read? I don't think so," Miranda added.
"Has our society really gotten that low? Have we really, really reached down that low to victimize a child in this manner? To take their shoes from them. To take their backpack from them," Sgt. Thompson also questioned.
Neither police nor Kansas City Public Schools have released information about the boy, what was in the backpack, or what kind of shoes were taken, but those details are secondary for parents who say keeping an eye on their families after something like this is what matters most.
"Little kids just trying to go to school and getting robbed. It's really scary," Miranda said.
Police say the area is well-patrolled by KCPD and also by school resource officers. The district said there will be extra security both at and around the school through the end of the week. Investigators ask you to call 816-474-TIPS if you have any information that might help them find the person who robbed this student at gunpoint.