KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) - Kansas City police are asking for tips in the murder of a 4-year-old boy that happened around 2:30 Monday morning. The child was asleep in his bed when he was shot in the face.
Police are reminding everyone of the $25,000 reward that’s available for a tip that leads to an arrest. As of Monday afternoon, police had not received a single tip in this case.
The child has now been identified as Legend Taliferro. He was asleep in his bed when a gun fire erupted outside his apartment.
When officers arrived at the Citadel Apartments, they learned a family member had rushed Taliferro to the hospital where he died.
Kansas City Police Chief Rick Smith says this was not a drive by shooting, and it was not a stray bullet. Police are unclear of what the motive was, but they believe the apartment was targeted.
“We think that what we have here is a crime that unfolded, but we don’t know the true motivation yet, but we think that this place was targeted,” Kansas City Police Chief Rick Smith said.
The mayor and police chief are imploring the community to speak up.
“It’s your duty to share information. Because look there’s a family grieving right now. And the thing that would break my heart more than not getting justice for this family is if this murderer goes and hurts somebody else,” Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas said.
This was the 92nd homicide so far this year in Kansas City. The city is on track for this to be the deadliest year in the city’s history.
The all-time record was 1993 and a close second was 2017. The city already has 20 more homicides than June 29, 2017.
KCTV5 News spoke with community activist Pat Clarke and he says this is something that happens way too often in the black communities of Kansas City. He says most neighborhoods know exactly who is committing violent crimes, but they don’t say anything.
“We wait on the police to police us, when we need to be policing ourselves,” Clarke said.
He says keeping silent leads to tragedies like this one. He’s passionate, he’s angry and he says we all should be.
“Black Lives Matter. I’m going to ask you again who the hell does it matter to if it’s a black man killing a black man? A black man killing a black baby? A black man killing. Who does it matter to when it’s us killing us? You look for justice, but it’s just us killing us,” Clarke said.
He believes the black community in Kansas City has a lot of misplaced anger.
“This black community, it won’t prosper man until black folks come together first. That will stop the police from killing us, that will stop everybody else from killing us. How can you stop somebody else from killing us when we kill us better than anybody in the world?” Clarke said.
Clarke says the solution to all the violent crime has to come from the community, so does Mayor Lucas.
“What’s the solution that’s beyond law-enforcement? I know our homicide and violent crime detectives and everybody who is working on this will do all they can to make sure there’s justice. But what are steps that we can do outside? And in some ways that’s outside government,” Mayor Lucas said.
Clarke says he knows the family of Taliferro and they’re hardworking, good people. Even the mayor was impressed after speaking with family members this morning.
“She said, ‘now what can I do to make sure this doesn’t happen to anybody else’?” Mayor Lucas said.
Lucas and Clarke agree long term change starts with the community. But in the short term, the murderers need to be identified and arrested.
“We don’t need to be marching for peace, we need to be marching against the people that’s doing this type of things. You know who’s doing these things. I know you know who’s doing it,” Clarke said.