KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Coworkers, past and present, came together Monday to honor the life of the KCUR reporter who was shot and killed in her home.
It’s been one year since Aviva Okeson-Haberman died, but the 24-year-old leaves behind a lasting legacy.
“Like a once in a generation talent,” KCUR News Director Lisa Rodriguez said.
Friends and cohorts said she’s dearly missed in the newsroom. They also recognize the importance of putting an end to gun violence in our community.
Rodriguez worked with Okeson-Haberman for about a year before the she was killed.
Police said she was in her apartment on the first floor when a bullet pierced one of the windows, hitting her. Police are not investigating this as a case of a “stray” bullet.
One year later, there are no new updates. They are still looking for the person or people responsible.
Okeson-Haberman’s case is one of the many in Kansas City, Missouri that went unsolved last year. Only 75 of the 157 homicides, about 48%, resulted in criminal charges. In 2020, it was a little better as 50% were cleared.
“Which means that half of the families that experience loss won’t ever get those answers,” Rodriguez said. “And half the people who’ve committed those crimes won’t ever see a consequences for what they did.”
Okeson-Haberman was an excellent journalist, according to Rodriguez. She was known for asking the tough questions, while maintaining a kind spirit.
The 24-year-old was on the brink of starting a new job, covering the foster care and prison systems in Kansas.
“I have no doubt that the work that she would have done in that job wouldn’t have just been good stories, would’ve actually changed lives and improved lives of children across Kansas,” Rodriguez said.
Even though Okeson-Haberman is gone, she’ll have an impact on generations of future journalists to come.
Thanks to an outpouring of support in the amount of $100,000, KCUR created an endowment to fund summer internships in honor of her forever.
“She was good. She was the best of us,” Rodriguez said. “So I’m profoundly sad every day.”
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