I don’t look forward to holiday weekends anymore, because of all the shooting and killing. This 4th of July weekend, we had three homicide victims and seven more shooting victims.
It started Saturday night around 9:30 p.m. There was a homicide in the 1600 block of East 80th Street, they found someone shot to death in a car. I was called to that. Then I was called again, to 28th Terrace and Myrtle. There were two men laid out on the street, murdered. Three people dead in no more than an hour’s time. That was how our 4th of July weekend began. And all of the shooting. You can tell the difference between fireworks and a gun. People were shooting more guns than there were fireworks.
Later, on Sunday morning, I was getting ready to go to a Royals game. KC Mothers in Charge got tickets donated. I was almost ready to walk out of my house and I got a call from a family member, screaming. A family I’ve been knowing most of all my life.
It was my grandchildren’s cousin who had been shot. He had been shot once in the head. He was in a car and three people had been shot. Family members were at Research Hospital, so I immediately forfeited the game because I had to go and be with this family.
I arrived at Research Medical Center, family was everywhere. I found the mother and started praying. Then the doctor came and told her that her son was OK, but not OK, and he would be going into surgery about 5 o’clock that evening. So I had been at the hospital for hours and I was getting ready to go home. Another mother I knew was there and she said her son had been shot too, off of 73rd and Walrond. So we had 3 homicides at that point of time, and 7 shooting victims.
All three of the homicide victims were from Tulsa, Oklahoma. I don’t know what happened, why they were here, but they got killed in Kansas City. And that bothered me, because I know that some mother, some family is hurting. All the way from KC to Tulsa, I wanted to reach out and give my condolences. They were someone’s father, someone’s child. They were someone.
Later on, on 4th of July evening, my neighbors and I were sitting on our porches, we were kind of doing a neighborhood watch. My neighbor called me and said, “I called 911, can you also call 911? They are shooting at the end of the street.” The police came out. Later on that night, I talked to my auntie, who lives in Raytown, and she said, “this is ridiculous.” There was so much shooting. It’s out of control. We’re making it like it’s normal for people to shoot guns.
The next weekend, I was called Friday night for a homicide that happened at 99th and Holmes. Thirty minutes after that there was another homicide at Bannister and McGee. Someone was murdered. Later on Saturday night I got a call about a shooting in Swope Park. It was a homicide, a woman shot a man. It was a family picnic gathering, but she did turn herself in.
Then this morning (Monday, July 10), I want to say around 1:45 a.m., I was called for a homicide at Blue Parkway at the Burger King, someone was murdered in his car. I can’t imagine how many shootings we had this weekend but we had four homicides. Four lives taken this weekend. The thing that really scares me is, it could happen to me again. It could be another family member of mine. Every African American mother in the city worries about that.
These children in our community have no filter. They can’t deal with conflict, they have no way to talk to each other. They don’t know how to walk away from things, or agree to disagree.
We as African American people, we don’t come together, I have no problem with saying that. We need to stand together for the right things. It starts in our homes with our children, grandchildren and family members, guiding them to do the right things and telling them enough is enough. At some point we have to say “ENOUGH,” because we are destroying each other.