KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Mayor Quinton Lucas says intervention matters. He and others are actively working on programs to save lives, but one more teenager was lost overnight.
Police said the fatal shooting happened on Freemont Avenue between E. 15th Street and Truman Road.
Detectives spent the majority of Wednesday searching a house around the corner from the shooting scene, gathering evidence from inside and out of the home. Two SUVs were towed from the driveway.
“‘I just don’t believe it’s my kid,” Penny Strassle said. “I don’t know what we are going to do without him.”
Her grandson, 16-year-old Anthony Strassle, was shot and killed.
Strassle’s family is having a difficult time believing this kind of tragedy has struck their family. They haven’t been able to see the teenager’s body. It’s at the coroner’s office, considered evidence in a homicide.
“My son was amazing,” Anthony’s mom Crisana Strassle said. “He was full of life, and I’m gonna miss him every day.”
The family said Anthony Strassle was shot and killed in the area while riding with his dad to get late-night food at McDonalds. They said someone in an SUV shot at them from behind and then on the passenger side.
A bullet pierced Strassle’s heart. His father rushed to the Quick Trip on Truman Road for help, but the boy couldn’t be saved.
“I don’t want us to be the city of St. Louis, which I think is flirting with about 200 homicides already at this point in the year,” Mayor Quinton Lucas said. “I don’t want us to get to a point where we are saying, ‘Well, that’s just Kansas City.'”
Strassle is the 141st homicide victim in Kansas City this year and the 43rd under 25 years old. Lucas called the escalating gun violence a public health crisis like heart disease and smoking.
“We don’t quit, right? We don’t just say, ‘Boy there’s a lot of cancer, and so we’re not going to try,'” Lucas said. “We need to address this like that public health crisis that it is.”
Strassle’s family is left with a funeral to plan and so many questions about why the shooting happened, who did it and how to move forward from here.
“When is enough enough?” Strassle’s grandmother asked. “There’s so much hatred, and it’s senseless.”
On Monday, Lucas announced a $1.7 million grant that will be used for a mentoring program.
Lucas also told FOX4 exclusively Wednesday about a meeting he, KCPD Chief Rick Smith and Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker had recently, where the three discussed new ways to combat the increasing violence plaguing Kansas City. FOX4 will continue to follow that story for the latest developments.