Grief-stricken KCK dad says 11-year-old son shot brother before shooting himself

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Ride through the neighborhood near North 85th Street and 85th Terrace in KCK, and you'll likely see the sadness on so many faces.

People are feeling a local family's pain, especially the patriarch who's grieving and at a loss for words.

"It's just hard. I don't know what to say," the father said Wednesday outside his home.

On Tuesday night, the father received a heartbreaking and unbelievable phone call from one of his kids. He said he learned that his 11-year-old son found his gun in their KCK home.

The dad said his sixth-grader then shot his 28-year-old brother several times inside their home before taking his own life.

Police say the injured, older son staggered outside to two neighbors' homes for help. You could see a trail of blood leading to one neighbor's front porch.

"My son who was shot is OK. He was in surgery today, but he's gonna be fine. He's gonna recover," the KCK dad said.

Police spent the day trying to answer a number of questions, including why this happened. The dad and hurting family members gathered at the home. They're also baffled.

"I just don't know a whole lot of detail. No indication," the dad said.

"It's just so sad," said Rose Booth who lives across the street from the family.

"It just rips my heart apart to think that a little boy's life was taken," she said.

Shayla Sullivant, a child psychiatrist at Children's Mercy Hospital, said more than 80 percent of young people nationwide who use a gun to end their lives use a gun they find at home.

"Suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people and suicide rates in Kansas and in Missouri are higher than the national average," Sullivant said.

On Wednesday night, Sullivant shared what she called life-saving information with a group of parents and grandparents in hopes of empowering them, preventing such tragedies and making their homes safer.

"One of the biggest, most important things that we can do is lock up our firearms and make sure they're not accessible to kids who are struggling," Sullivant said.

Back in the KCK neighborhood, Rose Booth can't stop thinking about that sixth-grader and his family.

"I will keep them in my prayers," she said.


If you are having suicidal thoughts, we urge you to get help immediately.

Go to a hospital, call 911 or call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433).

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