Man’s killing comes just weeks after revival project announced for 18th and Vine District

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Killed on his birthday, Kansas City Police are asking the public for help after a man was shot overnight near 18th and Vine.

Detectives tell FOX 4 that multiple people in the area at the time of the shooting have information on what led to the shooting.

Police responded to the shooting just after midnight but the victim was not at the scene.. Instead he was taken by a private vehicle to the hospital where doctors pronounced him dead. Police later identified him as 32-year-old Mortez Falkner.

The negative news of violence is actually following positive news for 18th and Vine and it’s revitalization. But as one city council member put it, it’s one step forward, one step back.

“We are very saddened. Especially by senseless violence in the community,” 3rd District Councilwoman Melissa Robinson said.

This homicide follows Kansas City Council approval of a Community Improvement District (CID) for Vine Street. The vision proposes apartments and revived retail space for the area.

The CID management board includes the city manager and developer Kevin Simmons who owns property on Vine Street.

“But our opportunity to supply private security and have security throughout the district, that’s what the CID will enhance. And we hope to be doing that on a more regular basis,” Simmons said during a committee meeting on August 25, leading up to the plan’s approval.

Currently, developers have elected to spend about $150,000 on private security, with money planned to come more from the CID over time.

“But again that is typically on the weekends and not on the weekday like a Wednesday or Tuesday night,” Robinson said.

“It’s not perfect. It’s not the only place where crime and violence occurs and we know that the more economic development, the more vibrancy that the area has, the better off the city will be and certainly that area. I think now is the time to double-down,” Robinson said.

Developers would like to be breaking ground by the fall for mixed-use zoned buildings.

A lot of the surrounding area is zoned residential – meaning heightened concerns over the shooting death for those individuals as well. Police are asking people who know something about this case to call 816-474-8477. There is a $25,000 reward being offered for information leading to an arrest in this case.

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