Remembering John Wilson III, Kansas City’s 112th homicide victim of 2019

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A big smile and a poet's voice. That's how friends remember Kansas City's latest homicide victim. John Wilson III died early Saturday morning at his home, an apartment at 61st and Highland.

Ironically, Wilson was supposed to be at a peace rally at the Crossroads. Instead, he was killed 36 hours earlier.

"We all are impacted by violence no matter where we live or what we look like," said Monica Roberts of Healing Pathway Victim Services. She hosted the Urban Peace No Violence Watch Party.

The Urban Peace party was open to a select few; each person here lost a loved one to violence.

"We're all a part of this club that no one wants to be a member of," William Haskell said. He lost his brother Michael last year to gun violence.

Haskell also lost a friend on Saturday. Ironically, that friend, John Wilson III, was supposed to be at the Urban Peace Party.

"Oh, man, John was amazing," said Haskell. "When I tell you, just his energy, and everyone who knows him - he's known for his big smile."

Friends tell FOX4 Wilson was a father of two, a model, and was supposed to be here today, eating and watching the Chiefs.

Police said Wilson was killed in a large apartment complex at 61st and Highland. Police are tracking down leads, but encourage anyone with information to call the TIPS Hotline: 474-TIPS.

"Always, always smiling," added Haskell. "He always had a huge smile on his face, always had a good joke to tell. Always rapping something. And he was a poet."

Instead, police say he is Kansas City's 112th homicide victim of 2019. And now, his family is part of the club no one wants to join.

"We all have loved ones," Haskell said, "whether they're our sons or daughters or brothers or sisters or Uncle or Aunts have been murdered by gun violence. No one wants to be a member of that club."

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