KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A shooting in the Historic Northeast neighborhood shocked the community Wednesday night. A beloved neighborhood character was shot on the streets where he’s well known.
“Roberto is known as the ‘Mexican Ice Cream Man’ around the Northeast,” said Scott Wagner, director of the Northeast Alliance Together Program at the Mattie Rhodes Center.
Roberto Govea is a famous character in the Indian Mound neighborhood, where he lives and is known and loved by everyone, especially the kids.
“He’s a very positive person,” said ice cream customer Omar Segure.
Juan Alonso, who is also one of Govea’s customers, said he was shocked when he heard one of his favorite people had been shot.
“He was really nice he was like, I knew him because he’s like all around the neighborhood like every day,” the boy said.
For more than 12 years, Govea has spent his days pushing around his ice cream cart. He has been robbed before, but this time the robber shot him.
“He was shot in the shoulder, and the bullet went into his back,” said Govea’s niece Cathy Carrillo. “It’s incredible like how many things are happening in the world right now. Even being nice with someone that you didn’t even know, you’re getting shot for no reason.”
Carrillo told FOX4 that Govea suffered a head injury as a teenager, and as a result, had trouble finding steady job. So he got a cart, filled it with treats and began selling them to folks in the neighborhood to help support his family.
“And plus he loves to just experience the world,” Carrillo said
Govea has watched the kids he serves grow into adults, seen the neighborhood change from good to bad, then recover again.
Wagner is disappointed about the shooting because a lot of people have worked hard to make the Northeast a safer place to live.
“I would like to think that we can bounce back from this very quickly because of the support system that we have here in the Northeast but it’s gonna take all of us pulling together to make that happen,” Wagner said.
If the outpouring of support for the Mexican Ice Cream Man is a gauge, Govea’s family is hopeful that peace is possible.
“We were just on Facebook and we’ve seen so many shares,” Carrillo said. “So many people getting good vibes just like saying, ‘Why him?’ and just prayers and everything. It just made me happy how lovely, like everyone loves him.”
The suspect is still on the run, if you have any information that can help police catch the person who shot Govea please call the TIPS Hotline at (816) 474-TIPS.
If you are interested in helping this family, click on this link to the GoFundMe page.