Four people died and a teenager was injured in multiple shootings over just two days of the Labor Day holiday weekend in Kansas City, police said.
Detectives were still actively investigating the homicides as of Monday, said Officer Alayna Gonzales, a spokeswoman for the Kansas City Police Department.
The killings increased the number of homicides this year in Kansas City to 138, according to data tracked by The Star, which includes fatal police shootings. There had been 114 killings at this time last year, which ended as the second-deadliest year on record with 171 killings.
In 2020, 182 lives were lost, the most homicides ever recorded. As of Monday, Kansas City remained just slightly behind pace of the deadliest year in its history.
Here’s what is known about the holiday weekend’s homicides.
Just before 4:45 a.m. on Saturday, officers responded to the 3100 block of Harrison Street to investigate a report of shots being fired.
Upon their arrival, police found two men who had been shot lying on the ground in a parking lot. They were unresponsive, Gonzalez said. Emergency medical workers arrived and pronounced the men dead.
Police do not have a person of interest, Gonzalez said, and detectives were working to gather more information and speak to witnesses.
The victims were identified as 23-year-old Dillion Zino and 28-year-old Steven L. Williams.
The third homicide of the weekend was discovered a few hours later Saturday morning.
Just after 10:30 a.m., officers responded to a shooting in the 300 block of Drury Avenue in Kansas City’s Indian Mound neighborhood.
Once there, officers found a man lying wounded in the street, Gonzalez said. The victim was taken to a hospital where he died a short time later.
Detectives believe that shooting happened as a result of an argument and fight in the middle of the street, she said. Police had previously received a call about a disturbance in the area.
The victim was identified as 28-year-old Leroy M. Purkett.
Another shooting occurred Saturday evening at the Country Club Plaza, which left one teenager injured and another in police custody.
Officers working off-duty security heard gunfire shortly after 9 p.m., according to police. Police found a 14-year-old boy suffering from a gunshot wound near West 47th and Wyandotte Streets.
The victim was taken to the hospital with injuries that are not believed to be life-threatening, police said.
A 15-year-old boy was taken into custody at the scene, where police also found a gun, according to police.
“As a Kansas City 14 y/o recovers from being shot allegedly by a 15 y/o, we remain committed to something that shouldn’t be controversial — doing all we can to get guns out of the hands of our kids,” Mayor Quinton Lucas said on X, formerly known as Twitter. “The easy supply of guns on our streets is one addressable part of the problem.”
Last month, Lucas announced two proposed firearms restrictions that he hopes would reduce the killings. On would prohibit minors form buying ammunition without parental consent and the other would ban devices that turn handguns into automatic weapons.
The fourth killing of the weekend occurred about 3:45 a.m. Sunday. Officers responded to a reported shooting near West Ninth and Jefferson streets.
Once there, people flagged down the officers to an area of West Terrrace Park at West Eighth Street and Pennsylvania Avenue where they found an unresponsive man with gunshot wounds.
The victim was taken to a hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
Multiple witnesses were at the park when the shooting occurred, but they left the area when officers arrived. Detectives did not have anyone in custody in that shooting.
Anyone with information about the killings over the weekend are asked to contact homicide detectives at 816-234-5043 or the TIPS Hotline anonymously at 816-474-TIPS (8477). There is a reward of up to $25,000 for information submitted to the TIPS Hotline.
The Star’s Andrea Klick, Anna Spoerre and Jenna Thompson provided information for this story.