After weekend of violence, residents and leaders worry about rise in KC homicides

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Richard and Candy Conner have lived near 43rd and Indiana in Kansas City for the last 20 years. The couple lives in the home where Richard grew up.

"Down the street where the childcare is now, it used to be a grocery story. We used to walk down there every day for groceries. A pharmacy used to be where the convenience store is, and we utilized it all. We didn't have any problems or issues," Richard Connor said.

Now, more than 30 years later, he said the childhood neighborhood where he one played has become a battleground for gun-carrying criminals and violence.

"I can remember when God-fearing people and homeowners lived here and raised their kids to be the same. We all knew each other. Now, I don't know any of these people on this block, and yes, it has definitely become more violent -- not just this block but the whole neighborhood," he said.

Police say around 11:30 p.m. Friday, they went to a house across the street from the Conners' and found 16-year-old Clinton Holman Jr. dead.

As of Monday night cops were still looking for a motive for the teen's murder and a man seen in a surveillance photo. Police say they want to talk to him. The man was seen driving a white BMW with no front license plate around the time of the teenager's death.

"It's sad. I'm a grandmother and to lose a family member to violence before they even had a chance to live is very sad," Candy Conner said.

As of Monday, there have been 36 homicides in Kansas City. The number is slightly up the 31 murders one year ago.

"My thoughts and prayers go out to all of those who lost loved ones to homicide," said Damon Daniel, the executive director of Ad Hoc Group Against Crime.

Daniel tells FOX4 half of the 36 homicide victims were under the age of 24.

"Preventing violence in our city begins and ends with the person you see in the mirror. It is a learned behavior, and it can be unlearned," he said. "We must begin to push steer more young people into doing something positive with their lives. This is the responsibility of parents. It's the responsibility of those who see themselves in the mirror. I also want to say if you're living that kind of lifestyle it's time for a change."

"We are not running. We are going to stay here and live our lives," Candy Conner said.

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