4-year-old KC boy shot in his sleep survived open heart surgery, remembered as a superhero

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City police are trying to find whoever shot and killed a 4-year-old child.

It happened around 2:30 a.m. Monday at Citadel Apartments near 63rd and the Paseo, police said. 

In his short little life, the 4-year-old boy made a remarkable difference for others, continuing to help save lives long into the future.

To loved ones, 4-year-old Legend Taliferro was a real-life superhero and a fighter.

“He was a beautiful, vibrant little boy, one that you fell in love with the second you saw him. You fell in love with his family. They were gentle, kind and really just had so much love for this little boy,” said Laura Lopez, executive director of the Kansas City chapter of the American Heart Association.

Legend was born with a very rare congenital heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot. He had open heart surgery at just 5 months old.

Every year since, his family has brought out more than 100 loved ones to rally around Legend at the annual Kansas City Heart Walk.

“They are true warriors, little tiny heroes in heart capes that have gone through so much, more than most people go through in their entire lives,” Lopez said. “But yet they have the will, they have the fight to continue each and every day to the fullest, and I think he definitely did that.”

Legend’s life ended far too soon. While asleep in his bed, bullets pierced his home, killing him.

“Over my three year tenure, too many kids that’ve been killed. And you know, every victim, whether child or someone else, this is hell for any family,” Kansas City Police Chief Rick Smith said. “This is not easy when one day your whole life changes and nothing of what you did — something else happened and this family now facing this situation, and it’s just horrible.”

As KCPD investigates, city leaders are calling for change.

“In some ways, that’s beyond government,” Mayor Quinton Lucas said. “Look, the city will continue to fund every program we can, make sure we’re taking every step we can and avoid every situation, but somebody also has to tell people, ‘Don’t resolve every situation with a gun. Don’t go shooting up some place.'” 

As Legend’s family grieves, the 4-year-old’s life and their efforts are legendary, leaving an impact on future research and education that could save lives for many years to come.

“It’s a continuous reminder to me and all our staff here at the American Heart Association that we have to continue fighting,” Lopez said.

KCPD said it’s following up on a few strong leads, but so far no information has been called into the TIPS Hotline.

Anything you know that can help lead to an arrest could be eligible for a $25,000 reward.  You can remain anonymous when calling 816-474-TIPS.

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