KC homicide

Courtesy photo / Le'Andrew Vaughn family

Sixteen-year-old Adarius Barber was set to be a junior at Washington High School, where he was to have his first football practice on Monday.

His 17-year-old cousin, Le’Andrew M. Vaughn, was a promising baseball player, a rising senior at F.L. Schlagle High School. 

Both boys were college-bound, according to a spokesman for the Kansas City, Kansas, Public School District.

Peggy Lowe / KCUR 89.3

The high number of murders in Kansas City is a concern for the third year in a row, with homicides jumping some 43 percent over last year.

The city's 86 homicides during 2017 so far are 26 more than the same period last year, according to crime statistics. Kansas City was named one of 12 cities that will receive aid from the federal government because of the rise in violent crime.

Norman, Oklahoma, Police Department & The City of Kansas City

Major Rick Smith of the Kansas City Police Department and Chief Keith Humphrey of the Norman, Oklahoma, Police Department are the two finalists for the police chief job in Kansas City.

Leland Shurin, president of the Board of Police Commissioners, said during a press conference Thursday that there were 42 candidates. Of those, ten were disqualified by state statute and the rest were interviewed by California-based consultants Ralph Anderson and Associates.

The Kansas City Police Department / YouTube

Kansas City Police released surveillance video connected to a recent homicide along the Indian Creek Trail. 

The video, released Tuesday by the KCPD, is timestamped May 18, shortly before 6 a.m., which was around the time bar owner Mike Darby was found dead on the trail. KCPD officials say the person shown walking in the video is not a suspect but "may have vital information" related to Darby's killing.  

Paul Sableman / Flickr - CC

Violent crime rates in Kansas City are on the rise, yet again. Today, we hear the first installment of KCUR's "The Argument," a reporting series that looks beyond the worrying statistics, and into the arguments that escalate to homicide. Then, we discuss how an 1878 eclipse, similar to the one that will cross the country on August 21, catalyzed scientific thought in America.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker, with the victim's grieving mother at her side, said Monday that a man has been charged with the murder of a 24-year-old east Kansas City woman.

Ashley Geddes was discovered dead in her bedroom by her mother on June 1.

The suspect is 25-year-old Cedrick Russell, who lived next door to the victim on east 45th Place. Russell is also charged with sodomy, burglary, stealing and other offenses.

Tony Webster / Wikimedia Commons

Kansas City has tried just about everything to reduce crime — more cops, more money and even a mayor-appointed task force — but the rate of violent crime continues to climb. So where do we go from here? Today, we hear from community leaders and listeners about how Kansas City should approach this growing issue.

Peggy Lowe / KCUR 89.3

A youth master plan, a public health campaign and storefront community resource centers were among the recommendations unveiled Thursday by Mayor Sly James’ Citizens Task Force on Violence.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

For Mayor Sly James, this has been a particularly busy time. On Tuesday evening, he gave his State of the City Address, which we discuss today, along with a bond proposal James says will trim, but not eliminate, a backlog of public works projects in Kansas City, Missouri.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

The City Council is considering an $800 million bond that may improve Kansas City, Missouri, infrastructure. Today, Mayor Sly James discusses that proposal, and the city's increasing murder rate. Then, we speak with Todd Graves, Governor-elect Eric Greitens' pick to lead Missouri's Republican Party.

Courtesy of Wasiba Hamad

Exactly six months after 18-year-old Southwest High School honor student Daizsa Bausby was found dead in a motel room, Jackson County prosecutors have charged her father with her murder.

After investigators received positive DNA results, 40-year-old Jerry K. Bausby was charged late Tuesday with first-degree murder, sodomy, incest and sexual abuse.

On the morning of March 21, Daizsa was found by a cleaning crew face up in the bed of a room at the 4 Acres Motel in South Kansas City. The following day, her mother, Laetta Walker-Bausby filed a missing persons report. 

Facebook - KC Mothers in Charge

A day after Kansas City lost two more of its children, family and community members are struggling to comprehend what happened.

Two young boys died after shots were fired into a home near 58th and College early Saturday morning. They were 8 and 9 years old. The other victim, a 16 year-old-girl, is expected to recover. 

Rosilyn Temple is the executive director of KC Mothers In Charge.  She says she arrived at the scene around 2:30 a.m. She was told shots were fired into the house, striking the three victims.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

The father of a toddler who died last week after accidentally shooting herself with his gun has been charged with second degree murder, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced Wednesday.

Courtenay Block, 24, told police he was sleeping when his 2-year-old daughter shot herself in the head April 21.

“Children are not responsible for their own safety,” Baker said at a news conference. “That’s our job. Your job and mine.”

KMBC

Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forté is starting the year with his hands full, after another streak of violent crime.

So far, the city has seen eight homicides in the first ten days of January. This, following a particularly deadly end of 2015.

“I’ve been concerned (about violence) my entire life as a young male growing up in Kansas City," Forté told host Steve Kraske on Up to Date. "I stay awake at night I think, ‘Darryl what else can you do?’” 

Mike Sherry / Heartland Health Monitor

While declaring that Kansas City’s homicide problem won’t be solved by a single prevention strategy, leaders of one of the city’s signature anti-violence initiatives said Monday they plan to modify the program following a surge of murders this year.

The program, the Kansas City No Violence Alliance (KC NoVA), is a three-year-old collaboration among several organizations, including the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office and the Kansas City Police Department, that aims to disrupt criminal groups.

Losing a loved one to violence is extremely difficult, but family members of the deceased are turning to each other not only for support but to enact change. KC Mothers In Charge, now in its second year, is leading a special effort in that direction. On this edition of Up to Date, we learn how the group is working to make Kansas City safer for its children.  

Guests:

Elle Moxley / KCUR

Kansas City Mayor Sly James recited a list of wins for the city at a press conference Wednesday.

Violence in the urban core is all too familiar for Missouri. A recently released study from 2012 puts Missouri at the top of the list for inner city homicide. Steve Kraske asks why, and looks at what's being done locally to curb violent crime. 

Guests: 

Kansas City Police are revealing little about a series of shootings late Monday night that involved firing from car-to-car and two homicides. There is an open question whether gang violence is at the heart of it.

Two women are among the wounded from sprays of gunfire outside an apartment complex in the 1700 block of Kansas on the city’s near East side. They were able to drive to the parking lot of a McDonald’s Restaurant just south of I-70 and Prospect where police found them and called for medical aid. 

Dan Verbeck / KCUR

Kansas City’s newest program to fight violent crime began today, aided by UMKC researchers, state and federal prosecutors, police and others.  The launch coincided with a chilling set of deaths.

A fresh double-homicide in south-side Kansas City had detectives going to work, one  hour before top crime fighters were gathering to describe the program, initially announced in May of 2012.

There had been 6 murders in the preceding 48 hours.

Into the mix comes the Kansas City No Violence Alliance or KC NoVA.