KC community agonizes over another killing, as 2015 homicide rate continues sharp climb

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Senseless violence is scarring the holiday season, as Kansas City police are investigate the city's 7th homicide this week.

Officers responded to a deadly shooting Thursday afternoon at Troost and 82nd Street, where a man was found shot to death outside a fitness studio. It marks the 104th homicide in the city so far in 2015.

Detectives are now looking for three men they want to question about the killing, while members of the community question when the spike in violence will end.

“Crazy, just craziness in Kansas City!” said Babette Grant, who heard several gunshots ring out near her apartment on Troost.

“I wish there was some kind of way we could just make it all stop,” agreed Linda Gomez, who daily uses the bus stop near Thursday’s crime scene.

“We are just pleading with our community,” said Sergeant Kari Thompson with KCPD, “our community leaders, anyone, everyone, to get involved in stopping the violence that is plaguing our city right now.”

The latest victim has not been identified yet, but police said they believe he was shot to death by acquaintances after an argument escalated.

“Scary because it`s too close to home,” Grant said.

Her view of the shops beside her apartment complex were overwhelmed Thursday by crime tape and police officers. It's a scene Gomez finds all too familiar in her South Kansas City community.

“It`s been very tough,” Gomez said of the influx of shootings. “Very, very tough.”

It's a sharp jump in deadly violence that stands out after homicides in the city dropped consistently from 2011 to 2014, with a total of 81 homicides last year.

“It goes back to poor conflict resolution skills,” said Sgt. Thompson. “All conflicts do not have to be resolved with violence.”

Her sentiment was echoed by Damon Daniel, executive director of the Ad Hoc Group Against Crime.

“Violence, as I`m observing it, is a learned behavior,” Daniel said, “and so what troubles me the most is that more and more of our children are learning this from those who are around them.”

Damon called this latest killing "deeply saddening” and said something must change.

“It starts at home,” he said. “It starts within the family.”

And now there’s one more family who will be missing their loved one.

“I feel for his family,” Grant said, “because they`re going to have to deal with this right here at Christmas time.”

As of Thursday night, police are not releasing any specific details about the victim or suspects, but if you know anything about the case, they ask you call Crime Stoppers at 816-474-TIPS

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