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With 6 killings in 26 hours, KC suffers deadliest weekend of already bloody year

Luke Nozicka and Anna Spoerre, The Kansas City Star on

Published in News & Features

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Six people were killed in homicides Saturday and Sunday in Kansas City, marking the deadliest weekend in a year already on pace to see a record number of slayings.

The violence that plagued various parts of the city for a 26-hour period ranged from an accidental shooting to domestic violence to disputes settled by gunfire. One of the shootings was a double homicide.

"Each of these families will endure a new anniversary -- the day their loved one was taken from them," Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said in a news release. "And they must begin to walk the long torturous road of grieving, healing and living without a part of them."

The final killing of the weekend marked the 127th homicide this year in Kansas City, according to data maintained by The Star, which includes police shootings. There had been 90 homicides by this time last year, which ended with 153. Kansas City's deadliest year was 2017, when 155 homicides were recorded.

Before Sunday night, the deadliest weekend of 2020 was in mid-May, when four people were killed in homicides between Friday evening and Monday morning.

Damon Daniel, president of the Ad Hoc Group Against Crime, said advocates such as himself "are really frustrated and I think beyond fed up" with every new killing.

 

There is only so much that can be done to prevent shootings when resources are not focused on the root causes of violence, Daniel said. Neighborhoods that suffer from violence also often have higher unemployment rates and see more vacant homes, among other things. More resources should be invested in education and skill-building, he added.

"Until then, we're going to continue to see the crime rates where they're at," Daniel said.

There is also likely an increase in people suffering from depression and substance abuse amid the coronavirus pandemic, Daniel said. Others may be confined to homes that are toxic environments.

In addition to that, violence prevention programs and services that were in place before the virus outbreak, such as home visits and vigils, have been limited for the safety of advocates.

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