OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Three violent crimes in one Overland Park neighborhood, all involving teenagers, have raised concerns for police and neighbors.
Jacob Marquez is just 16 years old. He has thee siblings, and one of his biggest supporters is his grandmother, Patti Wehner of Waldo.
“I’m doing what I can right now for him because I love him,” Wehner said.
She admits her grandson has had a troubled past.
“Jacob is a lost boy, who lost his mother 10 years ago. He never received proper counseling. He was currently in a foster home, a second foster home, and he got bounced around for way too long,” Wehner said.
She said her grandson was trying to turn his life around, but on Jan. 29, she couldn’t believe what happened to Jacob.
“Two bullets left his body that Tuesday night,” the KC grandmother said.
Wehner said her grandson was riding in car with two guys near 79th and Farley in Overland Park when out of the blue someone shot Jacob twice.
“He was shot through his back and through his neck by the driver and tossed from that moving vehicle on one of the coldest nights this year,” Wehner said.
The teen is now paralyzed from his chest down.
“He made a bad decision that day. I don’t know all of the details, but I know he didn’t deserve that,” the grandmother said.
Just a few days before that happened to Jacob, 17-year-old Ben Workman was shot and killed inside his Overland Park apartment. And days later, police say a 16-year-old boy was stabbed while taking out some trash.
Police said the crimes were isolated incidents and said in all three cases the victims and suspects knew each other.
But the violent crimes have devastated the victims’ families and rocked the typically quiet Grantioch neighborhood in Overland Park.
During a community meeting Thursday night, Wehner and dozens of other parents and grandparents took their safety concerns to Overland Park Police Chief Frank Donchez.
“What is the worst part also is that within 48 hours of doing that to my grandson, the two thugs were walking the street probably waiting to commit the next crime,” Wehner said.
“For parents, know what your kids are doing, know where they are and know who they’re hanging out with. I mean those are the three keys to preventing some of this juvenile crime. We are pursuing these cases and doing everything we can to prevent these cases, but we need parents’ help,” Donchez said.
Police tell FOX4 suspects have been arrested in Jacob’s shooting and in the other two violent crimes.