Tuesday, December 30, 2008

18-year-old Man Killed in shooting

Kansas City’s three-week homicide drought came to a violent end Tuesday afternoon when an 18-year-old Kansas City man was shot in the head in the parking lot of the Belmont Place Apartments near Belmont Boulevard and St. John Avenue.

Crime scene tape fluttered in the breeze as Police investigators combed the area inside the Belmont Court apartments Tuesday afternoon looking for clues as to who may have wanted the man dead.

Witnesses indicated hearing a loud boom near the scene at approximately 4:45 p.m. Tuesday. A female witness at the scene stated that a white male shot the victim. The suspect is described as a white male, 5'8", medium build, wearing a red hooded sweatshirt/jacket and blue jeans.

What exactly happened next is unclear, but the end result is the victim’s girlfriend’s car, (left) in which the victim was riding, crashed into the side of one of the buildings. The pair were allegedly “jumped,” by a group of individuals when they pulled in tothe parking lot. The group approached the victim's girlfriend, then walked toward the victim as he sat in the vehicle. Seeing the group approaching the car, the victim allegedly jumped in to the driver';s seat and attempted to flee the scene. As he did so, he was struck in the head by a bullet. . He was pronounced dead later. Witnesses indicated that the suspect(s) fled on foot, possibly to a house a few blocks away. 

The victim’s father, a lifelong Northeast resident, indicated the victim wasn’t a bad kid.

“He just got mixed up with the wrong crowd," the father said. “I tried on many occasions to tell him he was going down the wrong road, but he wouldn’t listen."

The father lamented how times in Northeast had changed.
“When I was a kid, we used to run these streets. If you didn’t like someone, you met them after school, went to the vacant lot and duked it out, with your fists, like men,” he said. “It's a lot different today. You look cross-eyed at some of these kids, and you risk getting shot. It's just crazy."

Residents indicate that lately, the small complex has become a hot-bed of gang activity. One resident who wished to remain anonymous indicated that gunshots were a regular occurrence at the complex, where a home invasion, robbery and assault occurred this past weekend. Police are reviewing evidence to see if the two incidents are related. 

“We call 911 on a regular basis,” the resident said. “It all seems to be coming from one apartment."

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