KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Police say three homicides Sunday morning were unrelated and due to causes officers often see when responding to homicides: Domestic violence, mental health issues and drugs.
Police say they have identified a person possibly connected in two of Sunday’s homicides, witnesses are not talking in the third.
“I don’t like this area period,” said Angel Herron, whose daughter lives in the building at East Armor Boulevard and Gillham Road where one of the homicides took place. “I want her to move closer to me.”
Sunday was one of the most violent days in Kansas City so far this year, three homicides in six hours. All separate incidents.
The shooting at Gillham Road and Armor, another shooting where one person died and another was injured at East 12th Street and Grand Boulevard downtown, and a stabbing at an apartment complex near the downtown airport.
“They are three situation is that we see over and over and around the country and that we have seen historically in Kansas City,” said KCPD Captain David Jackson.
He said one is related to mental illness, another related to domestic violence and the third, related to drugs, but would not say which is which.
“The police department wants what’s best for the citizens of the city,” Jackson said. “Shooting people is not it.”
Sunday’s homicides bring the overall number this year to 23. Last year on this day it was 26.
During a news conference Monday, Jackson said for the most part, police are chasing crimes instead of preventing them because the department is spread thin due to budget issues and the homicides over the weekend are a good example of that.
“Usually by this time I’d be able to tell you the victims name in all three of these but they are stretched thin and that’s the reality of the situation,” Jackson said. “We would love to be more proactive.”
Mayor Quinton Lucas’s office sent the following statement:
“The mayor isn’t arguing with police administrators over a budget allocation that increased last year’s budget as compared to 2019 and has absolutely no connection to preventing three unconnected murders this Sunday.”
“The yet-to-be enacted budget proposed by the mayor provides the Kansas City Police Department $45 million more than the next closest departmental budget. The mayor’s proposed budget also ensures not a single police officer will be laid off due to our fiscal challenges. The state allows KCPD to decide how to allocate its budget, and is well within its right to bring on a new academy class. In fact, the mayor would encourage the Department to do so. He remains committed to working with our rank-and-file officers, social workers, and mental health workers to ensure we work to prevent crimes from happening.”