JACKSON COUNTY, MO (KCTV) – A 22-year-old Kansas City man has been charged in connection with the fatal shooting of 4-year-old LeGend M. Taliferro.
The child was asleep at home the morning of June 29 when a shot was fired into his residence, which struck and killed him.
Ryson Ellis, 22, now faces charges of second-degree murder, unlawful use of a weapon, and two counts of armed criminal action.
Court records say Kansas City police officers responded in the early morning hours to the 1600 block of Bushman at the Citadel Apartments on a call about a shooting.
Someone had fired gunshots into an apartment from an area behind it, shooting through a privacy fence and a sliding glass door. The victim, Taliferro, was asleep inside.
A witness told police that the suspect had a “fade cut” and facial hair on the chin. This generally matches the description of Ellis.
Court records also say that a woman was in the apartment at the time of the shooting. She told police she had a son with Ellis and he had assaulted her a few days before the shooting. The witness later received threatening social media messages from Ellis.
The assault caused members of her family to confront him. One of the family members is Taliferro’s father and he lived at the apartment where the 4-year-old was later shot.
A suspect vehicle was captured on surveillance video the night of the shooting. Police determined it was a rental vehicle. Rental car records confirmed it was rented on June 23 and not returned until July 3.
A witness stated she drove the vehicle the night of the fatal shooting that Ellis got out of the vehicle near that apartment. She then heard gunshots and Ellis came running back to the car.
She said she didn’t find out until later someone had been killed.
Prosecutors requested Ellis be held without bond.
Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas posted on Twitter after the charges were announced and said: "While my heart continues to break for LeGend’s family, I am thankful that today an important step towards justice has been taken. Thank you for the hard investigative work of the women and men of law enforcement and the prosecutors with a heavy task ahead."
He also released the following statement via email: "LeGend Taliferro deserved to be able to grow up. While I am glad justice has been served, our community, and a good family, continue to mourn his life cut far too short by violent crime. I appreciate the good person who came forward to help provide a degree of closure to a mourning family. It remains imperative that people who have information on shootings or homicides in Kansas City continue to come forward. I thank the women and men of the Kansas City Police Department, the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office and other law enforcement partners for their diligent work in this case."