Monday, March 12, 2012

Breaking down this weekend's homicides and aggravated assaults

There were multiple homicides and aggravated assaults in Kansas City this weekend, and I wanted to break them down to give a clearer picture of what happened:

• 10:22 a.m. Friday in the 800 block of Myrtle Avenue: In a domestic violence-related incident, officers were dispatched on an ambulance call of a woman bleeding from the mouth. She was pronounced dead. The victim’s boyfriend has been charged in the homicide.

• 12:23 p.m. Friday in the 8200 block of Wayne: While checking the welfare of a missing juvenile, officers found the body of a man. A suspect has been charged in that case. The motive was an argument.

• 2:51 p.m. Friday at 23rd and Hardesty: Officers attempted to stop a speeding vehicle, which did not stop. The vehicle proceeded to Truman Medical Center, where a man who had been shot was taken into the hospital. The victim is in grave condition. The motive was an argument. A suspect has been identified but is not yet in custody.

• 3:31 a.m. Saturday at 30th and Agnes: Officers responded to the sound of gunshots and found a man dead inside a vehicle. A motive is not yet known, but a suspect is in custody and awaiting charges.

What’s unique about these homicides and aggravated assaults is that suspects were identified within hours of the occurrence of each one. This is a result of the community’s willingness to get involved and excellent work by our men and women in the field.

Detectives also responded to several suspicious death calls over the weekend and are awaiting rulings about the causes of death from the Medical Examiner’s Office (such as an incident in the 1700 block of NE 101st Court). Possible suspects also have been identified in these cases.

The dead body located near railroad tracks at Cambridge and Blue Ridge on Friday was ruled a suicide. A body found in the woods in the 1800 block of Bristol might be that of a man who was reported missing from that area several months ago. The Medical Examiner has not yet determined the man’s identity or cause of death. However, the missing man lived a few houses up from where the body was discovered in a wooded area.

None of the incidents appear to be related to drugs or gangs. And in many of them, patrol officers were in the right place at the right time. In both the shootings at 23rd and Hardesty and 30th and Agnes, officers were right there. They apprehended the suspect almost immediately in the 30th and Agnes shooting. I sincerely appreciate the excellent work of those officers, as well as the detectives and crime scene technicians who put in tremendous efforts and hours of work this weekend.

We now stand at 18 homicides for 2012. This is more than we had at this time in 2011 or 2010, but less than in 2009 and 2008. However, this is still an unacceptable number of homicides. We must come together as a community to prevent these. The quick arrests of suspects in the violence this weekend indicates that we already are starting to do so.

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