Gunfire injures 2 children on Kansas City's east side - KCTV5 News

Group of mothers taking charge after string of recent child shootings

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DeAnthony Lora DeAnthony Lora
Dy'Oveon Lora Dy'Oveon Lora

Two children were shot during a drive-by while they were playing in their living room. It's a scenario that has played out all too often in Kansas City. Now a group of mothers are taking charge.

Instead of going to his second grade class Tuesday, 7-year-old Dy'Oveon Lora lies in a hospital bed. He was shot in the stomach while in his home near East 43rd Street and Troost Avenue just before 8 p.m. Monday.

The bullets, which relatives said were many, grazed Dy'Oveon's 2-year-old little brother DeAnthony who was sitting next to him.

"My nephew was playing with them on the couch," Veronica Iverson, Dy'Oveon's grandmother, said.

The boys' grandmother said DeAnthony will be able to come home, but his older brother underwent extensive surgery.

"My oldest grandson, they say, is doing pretty good," Iverson said.

These two boys join the growing list of children hurt or killed by gunfire. In just two months, four other children have been hurt or killed by gunfire in the Kansas City metro area. It's incidents like the one near 43rd and Troost that brought a mother with an agenda to Kansas City.

"You expect your children to bury you, you don't expect to bury them," Dorothy Johnson Speight with Mothers in Charge said during a phone interview.

Speight is a mother who lost her adult son 12 years ago. She channeled her pain into creating a violence prevention and support group called Mothers In Charge, an organization made up of mothers who have lost children to gun violence.

"Not have their lives been in vain so we want to do something to make a difference," Speight said.

Mothers In Charge was started in Philadelphia by Speight and another woman, both of whose children were killed by the same suspect, one of them shot over a parking space. Now, Speight's taking it nationwide, creating chapters in New York and Chicago and now, Kansas City.

"You've got to be sick and tired of what's going on in your community. Even if you are not a mother affected by it, maybe you haven't lost a child, but you don't want to get involved anyway," Speight said, adding that nobody wants to lose a child.

She visited Kansas City and other urban areas with a high homicide rate and helped the AdHoc Group form a chapter in the area.

Alvin Brooks, one of AdHoc's founding members, said the group offers support, grief counselors and prevention and intervention programs.

"If they're going to take charge of certain responsibilities and help each other, support each other, they've outlined a number of things they want to do for calling upon families along with a counselor and our counseling service has been going since June and they complement each other," he said.

The first meeting for Mother's In Charge in Kansas City is Tuesday evening at the AdHoc Group Against Crime, located at East 31st Street and Prospect Avenue. It begins at 6 p.m.

As for the boys, they are lucky to have survived.

Police say a couple of people were shooting at each other, when some of those shots hit a home and the children inside.

"Some of the shots hit a residence with the bullets hitting two children that were inside," according to a news release from the Kansas City Police Department.

Relatives believe the shooters went to the wrong house and were looking for someone else. Police said they are still looking for the shooters in that drive-by.

In the past month, there have been four children injured in shootings and two children killed in the metro area.

Last Friday, a 12-year-old from Breckenridge, MO, was accidentally shot and killed.

A 4-year-old was accidentally shot in east Kansas City before that. At last check, she was in critical condition.

At the beginning of the month, a 4-year-old in Ottawa was accidentally shot. He survived. And a month ago, a 4-year-old boy was shot and killed in a drive-by.

Click here for more on Mothers In Charge.

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