Neighbors near where Kansas City journalist was shot fed up with violence


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A young journalist is being remembered as neighbors are fed up with the violence. A KCUR reporter was shot when a bullet went into her Kansas City apartment.

General Manager at KCUR Sarah Morris said Aviva Okeson-Haberman, 24, had a bright spirit and promising future. Co-workers said that was cut short by a bullet through her window.

The shooting happened in the 2900 block of Lockridge Street. Police have not released an ID, but KCUR identified Okeson-Haberman as the victim.

Neighbors call the violence a common occurrence.

“For this to happen, it’s sad,” neighbor Necy Oats said. “You can’t live nowhere in peace.”

Oats has lived in a nearby building for three months. She said she plans to move soon.

David Barton said he’s been in the same building for three years, and the violence has not gotten better.

“This neighborhood’s been bad for years,” David Barton said. “Years, years!”

Co-workers said the 24-year-old was in her apartment on the first floor when a bullet pierced one of the windows and struck her.

“Very terrible,” Barton said, “And the lady didn’t do anything. I don’t even think she had company come over too much.”

After not hearing from Okeson-Haberman, staff at KCUR said a colleague had gone to check on her. They found their friend in her apartment with a gunshot wound. Police responded to a welfare check Friday.

Police told FOX4 that, according to hospital staff, the victim is still on life support. We are working to check back on this information.

Meanwhile, co-workers have started grieving her loss. In an article, Brandon Parigo noted Okeson-Haberman’s passion. He said she was moving into a new role at KCUR, covering social issues and criminal justice.

Okeson-Haberman wrote in her application, “Social services is a tough beat, but I’m a tough reporter.”

“Our KCUR family is heartbroken,” Morris said in a statement to FOX4, “While Aviva’s family, friends and colleagues are devastated by this, our grief is no more significant than all the other families who are suffering over the loss of their loved ones due to senseless gun violence.”

“All I want to know is just that why people just have to pick up guns and just kill people,” Oats said. “For what? It’s not even worth it.”

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker shared her condolences to the KCUR team on Twitter, as did Mayor Quinton Lucas.

“Aviva was a creative, thorough, challenging, and insightful reporter,” Lucas said on Twitter, “Her death lays bare our gravest unsolved epidemic and the preventable tragedies too many families endure.”

Coworkers said she was looking to move to Lawrence. They said she was apartment hunting just hours before she was shot.

“Just cut it out. It’s senseless. Cut it out. We all have to live here together,” Barton said.

The KCUR team said they will honor Aviva’s life by continuing to service the community through good journalism, just as Okeson-Haberman did in Kansas City.

As for the investigation, Kansas City police continue to look into the shooting.

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