Suspected gunman dead after shootout; 3 officers shot expected to live

Mom of murdered man says the man she thinks did it often smirks, makes gun gestures at her

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Six years ago, a mother lost her son in a senseless shooting. And even though police believe they know who did it, the killer has remained a free man.

Charles Bates

Relatives and police say that Charles Bates, 24, was gunned down by someone he knew.

It happened in broad daylight, on a street corner with plenty of people around. Yet, no one has been willing to testify about what they saw.

Tina Madge-Johnson says her son was driving with a man the family has known for years, when the car they both were in stopped at the corner of 80th Street and Brooklyn Avenue.

That's where Bates, the father of a baby girl at the time, was shot and killed. Police say the man with him in the car was last seen running away.

A look at the scene where Charles Bates was killed.

"March 26th was the day I got the phone call that my son was just murdered," Madge-Johnson said. "Six years later on this same date this person is still running around out here free. Nobody wants to come forward. Somebody has to have it in their heart to come forward. Don’t be afraid."

A 23-year-old Kansas City man originally was charged in Bates' shooting, but police say prosecutors dropped the case after witnesses decided not to testify.

Charles Bates' mother

Bates' mother says when she occasionally sees the suspect, he smirks at her or points his finger at her like a gun. She says these hurtful gestures make the pain of her loss more difficult to bear.

Relatives hope an increased TIPS hotline reward of $5,000 will convince someone to finally bring her family justice.