KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A man killed five people, including three of his children, before fatally shooting himself Saturday morning, and a fourth child was in the hospital with life-threatening wounds, police said.
The man killed one woman around 8:30 a.m., then went to another home and shot his longtime girlfriend, their four children and himself, Capt. Rich Lockhart said.
Police did not immediately identify the shooter or the women. Relatives identified the shooter's girlfriend as Shanika King, who was in her 30s.
The slain children were a 1-year-old boy, 11-year-old boy and 14-year-old girl, police said. An 8-year-old boy was in critical condition with a gunshot wound to the face.
Witnesses identified the first victim, a woman in her mid-30s, as the shooter's cousin, Lockhart said. The woman's son told police a man came to the door and asked to see his mother. The boy said he heard a "pop," but thought it was fireworks.
After the man left, the boy found his mother had been shot and went to a neighbor's house to call police, Lockhart said.
About 15 minutes later, police received a call from a woman who said her son-in-law had called her to say he had shot her daughter and grandchildren.
The man's body was found in the kitchen with a revolver nearby, police said. King and the youngest child were found dead in a bed, and the girl was found in a different bedroom. The 8-year-old and 11-year-old boys were found in the basement.
All had been shot, police said.
Two of the couple's other children had spent the night at their grandmother's house, said King's aunt, Janna Walker, who lives nearby in the neighborhood of low- to middle-income, single-family homes, about five miles east of downtown Kansas City.
Kim Drew, a neighbor whose 13-year-old son was a friend of the slain children, described the shooter as a controlling man who wanted things done his way.
"He didn't want her to smoke," Drew said. "He ran things and he was bossy. That much I did see."
Drew said the children were well-mannered. A couple of months ago, she said, she took the 11-year-old and 8-year-old to the circus with her son.
"They were very respectful," Drew said.
Sierra Saffold, 15, another neighbor who knew the family, said the children were "well taken care of" and the parents seemed to get along fine.
"Everytime I'd go down there, the mom and dad were always in the front room watching TV together, or the mom would be cooking, and the kids were playing video games," she said.
Lisa Robinson, who worked with Shanika King at a local hotel for about five years, said King always put her children first.
"She was a good lady," Robinson said. "She would go without anything to make sure her kids had what they need."
The uncle of the first woman killed called the events "an extraordinary tragedy."
"This is like being in the twilight zone," Wilbert Blackmon, whose niece was the first woman killed at a separate address, told The Kansas City Star.
He said his niece was a "fine young lady" who had four children, and that there had not been any indication of conflict or hint of impending violence in the family.