KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City woman charged in a homicide is getting attention from rappers known worldwide. They’re posting about trying to help her meet her bond to get out of jail.
But the victim’s family says it’s time to let the law work its process and for peace.
Keith Lars’ five children will miss their father.
“He was an outstanding person. He loved his family so much,” Lars’ partner Ieisha Reiley said.
Lars was allegedly killed by his cousin, 21-year-old Tityana Coppage. Court documents say she believed the 36-year-old killed her brother, 16-year-old Jayson Ugwuh. Lars’ father, Keith Lars Sr., said it’s hard to take this happening within their family.
“He loved his family. He loved people. For family to do family, no,” Lars said.
On Jan. 13, Coppage is accused of shooting Lars in revenge, and then texting her brother to let him know she’d committed the crime. The Jackson County prosecuting attorney charged her with second-degree murder and armed criminal action.
Over the past few days, her case went viral.
One of the hottest rappers in the U.S., DaBaby, shared her story to his more than 16 million Instagram followers. He along with LilBaby and 42 Dugg have expressed interest in raising money to bail her out of jail.
“A life was taken, so for people to be OK with that and be willing to bond them out, I think they are condoning more violence,” Reiley said.
Sunnie Carney founded Children of Homicide Victims, a nonprofit aimed at helping children who’ve lost their parents to homicide get counseling and a place to feel seen. She also lost her father to homicide in 2012, and his case remains unsolved.
She said the trauma Coppage experienced as a child, losing her cousin and both of her younger brothers, and how Lars’ children will feel feeds into a cycle of violence.
“It won’t feel fair. It won’t feel fair at all,” Carney said. “But justice isn’t yours to seek. It isn’t yours to seek. Revenge at all isn’t yours to seek at all. So that will just be my encouragement to just seek. Seek the resources, seek the help because there are people out there and there are people out there that understand.”
2020 was the most violent year in Kansas City’s history with more than 180 homicides. Carney said getting support during a time of loss and pain will help heal the trauma young people may be facing and help break a cycle all too common in Kansas City.
“Trauma after tragedy, if not healed and treated, develops violence. In Kansas City, in our case, our biggest struggle with violence is homicide cases,” Carney said. “So it’s just very important to know that we have to get that treated, whatever race you are, whatever ethnicity wherever you come from. Whether it’s inner city, out south or up north, whatever direction it’s from, everybody’s human. Everybody feels. Everybody needs a support. So seek the support.”
FOX4 reached out to DaBaby, but the rapper said he did not want to comment through his publicist. The Coppage family said they are not ready to speak at this time.