Possible retaliation shooting prompts push for community unity in KC's urban core

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- There's a call for community unity in the urban core as police investigate a possible connection between two shootings that happened Wednesday.

The issue of revenge and seeking justice on your own has gotten the attention of crime fighting activists on the east side.

Police are investigating whether a man killed Wednesday night near 68th Street and Monroe Avenue might have been shot in retaliation for another shooting earlier that day near 23rd Street and Wheeling Avenue, where another man was killed and a young child wounded by gunfire.

Community leaders said they understand the pain and anger family members have, especially when a child is shot. A group of men wants to show victims there are people they don't know who care about their loss.

"There has to be a team of men and women who step up to help that family step back because if I don’t think nobody else cares, I’m going to handle my business and that’s how the mentality is going to be," Ossco Bolton said, founder of POSSE, Peers Organized to Support Student Excellence.

"But when they see a group of men and women in the community step up, then they can step back. Then they can settle down. Then they can calm down. Then we can give them ideas and be there to support them so they don’t have to retaliate."

Police said an argument took place between suspect and victim before the first shooting, where a child also was hit by a bullet.

A few hours later, police say someone sprayed gunfire into a house on Monroe Avenue from outside, killing a young man inside the home.

Many people attending a free community unity barbecue at 29th Street and Indiana Avenue said they have all lost loved ones to violence. They shared ideas in a community forum to bring people together so that relatives don't take matters into their own hands and act out in anger.

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