With KC homicides up compared to last year, group kicks off ‘A Weekend Against Crime’

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Family and friends released "I love you's" Friday in the same spot three men were murdered two years ago.

"It's kind of eerie every time I'm here stepping in this place where my son's life ended," Penny Murrell, Kevin Murrell's mom, said with tears in her eyes.

Murrell, Cortez Hanley and Chad Cain were found shot to death inside a car parked in a driveway near Monroe Avenue and Gregory Boulevard.

"And suddenly they're gone," Hanley's mom, Michelle Miller said, crying. "No goodbyes, no explanation, no nothing. It's hard."

Pieces of their sons are still with them through tattoos and t-shirts. They also carry something you can't see -- heartbreak.

"All of us loved them in special ways, but nobody loved them like their mommas loved them," Timothy Hayes said, pastor at 24 Hour Faith Training Center, leading the vigil. "And we've got to come to a certain point in time where we've got to stop making peoples' mommas hurt."

That's the same message Pat Clarke wants to send as A Weekend Against Crime kicks off.

Clarke and his neighbors passed out fliers Friday at 39th and Prospect, educating people on the homicide rate in KCMO.

So far this year, 57 people have been murdered. That's up six from 2018.

"Police cars and sirens around here are like doorbells," he said. "Shots fired around here are like doorbells. We expect them, you know. We're used to them, and that's just the way it is around here."

Murrell said she knows something needs to change. She lost two sons to violence.

"Losing two sons in 18 months," Murrell said tearing up. "But I've got to keep going."

They keep going for their sons.

"I'm going to hope that one of those balloons reach heaven and let them know that we still love him," Murrell said.

She said she'll show her love by seeking justice for their deaths.

"There has been no arrest," Murrell said, "and I'm going to be here every year until they arrest somebody for this homicide."

If you'd like to take part in A Weekend Against Crime, Clarke said the Prospect Day Parade starts at 1 p.m. Saturday near 39th and Prospect.

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