KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City homicides are up 33% over the first three months of 2019 compared to 2017. That year would prove to be the most deadly year in Kansas City in more than two decades.
Now one local group is making a big push to stop the violence you might have noticed driving around town.
“It’s very painful every time you see it happen. It’s like a kick in the gut,” Fannie Hill said.
Hill watched as the number of murders in Kansas City reached 36 on Monday as people were found shot to death in their cars at 67th and 63rd streets. It’s the same day her sister died and was reunited with her son, who was murdered 25 years earlier.
“There was a duplex around the corner from me where they had shot him and drug his body in to a vacant house,” Hill said.
Hill and her sister hoped future families would be spared from that kind of pain, but Hill said she was disappointed in crime fighting efforts.
“Everybody was doing something but seemed like nothing was making a difference,” she said.
So the women founded War Cry Kansas City.
Just last week billboards started going up on highways all over town, saying they are looking for 1,000 leaders to take back the city. The billboard directs people to their Facebook page.
Despite her sister’s passing, Hill said she’ll continue the effort with the help of her son. Marcus Blockmon said city leaders look for violent crime trends and causes, but they might be looking past the root of it all.
“Education and economics, that’s something that’s there, that we all know about that we can deal with through politics and legislation, but on a holistic level, there’s nobody really addressing the spiritual aspect,” Blockmon said
War Cry hopes to start by uniting neighborhood churches and then take the message of unity to neighborhoods themselves — one house at a time this summer.
“When we get the people to the street, then we can talk, then we can get to know our neighbors and know each other,” Hill said.