Susan Choucroun laid to rest as Taylor family thanks supporters - KCTV5

Susan Choucroun laid to rest as Taylor family thanks supporters

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As one of the three victims killed in this week's south Kansas City crime spree was laid to rest Friday, the family of the two surviving victims spoke of their gratitude for the outpouring of support.

Susan Choucroun's funeral was at the Louis Memorial Chapel in Kansas City. A native of Kansas City, the 69-year-old woman was killed Tuesday as she came out to intervene after a man was stealing George and Ann Taylor's vehicle.

Prosecutors alleged that Brandon Howell, 34, nearly beat the Taylors to death in the basement of their home. He then allegedly killed Choucroun and Lorene Hurst and her son, Darrel, who was visiting his mother.

"We believe they were shot and killed trying to support George and Ann, and we are forever grateful," said a Taylor family member who asked not to be identified for fear of reprisal from Howell's associates.

Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker will consider seeking the death penalty against Howell who faces 12 felony charges in connection with Tuesday's crime spree including three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of first-degree assault. Howell is being held without bond.

Choucroun is survived by her husband, Charles, who was not at home at the time of the tragic events, and a brother and aunt.

George and Ann Taylor remain in separate hospitals in critical condition. They had returned home from the store when they were attacked.

"They are fighting for their lives. They are on life support," a niece of the couple. "We remain optimistic but we know this is going to be a tough and long struggle."

Howell allegedly tried to steal the Taylors' Jaguar when he was spotted by neighbors in the quiet cul-de-sac. He allegedly stole the Taylors' Toyota Highland, which he allegedly dumped in the Northland before he was arrested while walking along Interstate 29.

The niece said they have been touched by the outpouring of support. While struggling with emotions, she thanked the police, the family's neighbors and others.

"We are heartbroken over this tragedy," the woman said. "The family is in complete shock. We cannot understand how such a heinous crime could happen to such wonderful and kind-hearted people."

The Taylors have lived in the Kansas City area for years. George Taylor is a brick mason and a veteran, who is an avid Chiefs and Royals fan. His wife is an entrepreneur and civic volunteer.

The family is grateful for the prayers, which they say is lifting them up during these difficult days.

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