2 men charged with murder in death of 10-year-old KCK girl killed during drive-by shooting, 2 others on the loose

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- According to Wyandotte County sheriff Major Kelli Bailiff, two men have been charged in the death of a 10-year-old KCK girl. Machole Stewart was shot and killed during a drive-by on Oct. 26, 2014.

Tommy Benson and Cedric Sanders have both been charged with first-degree murder.

The two were arrested Tuesday night, and both made their first court appearance Wednesday via video. They are scheduled to be back in court on Tuesday, Oct. 3.

Major Bailiff says the third and fourth suspects in Machole's death are not in custody. On Wednesday authorities told Fox 4 that a third suspect was in custody, but Major Bailiff says that is not true. Fox 4 is not naming either of those suspects until they are formally charged.

"The family has been wanting closure in this case for a while, and we had gathered a lot of information and facts about the situation that happened. We're just happy that we're able to take this to the next step and possibly get some closure for the family," KCKPD Officer Cameron Morgan told Fox 4 Wednesday.

The drive-by happened outside of the victim's home in the 1400 block of New Jersey on a Sunday evening. Police say the shooting went on for a couple of blocks with dozens of shell casings left on the street.

Machole was at home playing with her older brother and a cousin when police say gunmen drove by and suddenly turned their fun into a frightening time. The 10-year-old girl was in a rear bedroom and shot once in her head, she died instantly.

"She tried to run to the bedroom to hide. She's a 10-year-old kid, afraid, didn't know what to do," her grandmother Krystal Stewart told Fox 4.

10-year-old Machole Stewart

"She was a sweet child. She was adorable. She was smart, she was loving. She was just something you would love to be around. And it's hard. It's terrible. It's absolutely terrible," cousin Patrick Blackman said. "It's nothing that wouldn't make you smile about her. Everything about her would make you smile."

Machole's relatives have long believed the shooting was linked to an ongoing feud between two groups of teenaged boys and young men.

"I have been waiting and waiting on this day," her grandmother said Wednesday night. "I have been praying with my prayer sisters every morning. I prayed that the lord would remove these boys off the streets."

FOX 4 will give updates about the suspects and their charges when they are filed.

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