KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Eleven years have passed since the night Josie Garcia couldn’t get in touch with her son. When the news began that night, she had a sinking feeling.
All these years later, she’s still looking for her son’s killer.
It was a Friday night: March 28, 2008. Garcia said her son Jose Macias Jr. had been at his grandmother’s house. He and a cousin walked up Central Avenue to a gas station near Bethany Park to get a soda. As the two teens continued to walk, police say at least two people pulled up at 13th and Ridge and opened fire.
The 17-year-old Shawnee Mission North student died.
“He deserved to live. He deserved to grow up and change,” Garcia said. “He deserved to have a life and a graduation and a girlfriend and kids. When I see kids, I just wonder. I wonder what he would be doing right now.”
Police haven’t arrested anyone in connection with Jose’s murder, but they do have some information.
“We do believe there were multiple people involved in the vehicle; a shooter as well as the driver,” Det. Kevin Boehm said.
Garcia said her son was a good kid.
“He had a lot of good things going for himself,” she said.
She also said Jose played football, loved to run and won a leadership award in high school. She said her son wasn’t perfect but said no one is.
Garcia hopes the 11 years since her son’s murder has taught his killer a lesson.
“My son was 17. Whoever did this, I don’t know how old [he or she was]. People grow up. People grow up and they learn to make better decisions for their lives,” she said.
Through fundraising by the family for many years, as well as money for the city, the reward for information leading to an arrest is $7,500.
“When it comes to anonymity, there is no gray area. You either are anonymous or you’re not. All we deal with is anonymity,” said Boehm with Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers.
Garcia hopes a tip, anonymous or not, will lead to an arrest after all this time.
“When people say that you think about him all the time, it’s all the time for 11 years now,” Garcia said. “Jose’s not coming back, and what you did can’t be changed. Justice is just a little bit of something you can give back to us, to his loved ones.”
All tips to Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers are anonymous. They don’t track your name, record the gender of the caller, or ever see a phone number.
If you have information that can help police in this case, please call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477. You can also submit a tip online here.