KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Police are still searching for clues about what led up to a bullet piercing an apartment building Friday night near Lockridge & Benton, hitting and killing a local reporter.
Police now confirm the woman killed was 24-year-old Aviva Okeson-Haberman, a radio reporter at KCUR. As the investigation continues, those who knew and loved her say the tragedy sheds light on how Kansas City’s gun violence can affect anyone.
A bullet hole in the first-floor window of an east side apartment, serves reminder of how quickly gun violence can rip away innocent life.
“It’s happening too often. I know there’s been a spate of them in Kansas City the last few days. This is something not going away and not going to get better unless something changes,” said Ryan Famuliner, KBIA-FM news director and associate professor of journalism at the University of Missouri Journalism School.
Ryan Famuliner grew up in the metro, but now calls Columbia home. It’s where he taught and worked alongside Aviva Okeson-Haberman.
The 24-year-old-the is the latest victim of an apparent stray bullet, fired from outside her home through the window.
“It shouldn’t have happened. Every death from gun violence is a tragedy, this one’s no less or more tragic than any of them but it really hurts because you know what she had ahead. You know she was going to do so much good, was going to be a force for good and that was taken away from us whether you knew her or not,” Famuliner said.
KCPD doesn’t keep track of how many bullets hit property. But in April alone, it says 43 shootings have left someone hurt. So far this year, 48 people have died.
“I think yes, her death is extremely tragic because of its apparent randomness but she’d be the first to say there are so many people in Kansas City who that’s occurred to and we can’t forget them,” said Kyle Palmer, former KCUR news director.
For a reporter known as kind, yet tenacious, those who knew and loved Aviva believe pushing the community to seek answers to the gun violence epidemic putting innocent people in the line of fire, would honor her legacy.
“She wanted to change things through her reporting and make things better and don’t think the irony would be lost on her that what ended up ending her life is something is also something that needs to change to prevent things like this from happening again,” Famuliner said.
There are no arrests in this case so far.
Mayor Quinton Lucas on Monday shared concerns about people who have information about deadly shootings and don’t report it.
That’s one reason the Crime Stoppers line exists. You can call in anonymous tips and be eligible for up to a $25,000 reward by dialing (816) 474-TIPS.