KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Four children have been killed by gunfire in Kansas City in the past six months, including two boys who were gunned down over the weekend.
The deaths of the boys, ages 8 and 9, raised the city's homicide total to 67 so far — the highest number by this time of year in seven years in Kansas City — and sparked anger from local leaders.
"I'm just really tired of hearing about kids getting killed," Mayor Sly James said Saturday afternoon. "You've got people with guns who don't care who's at the end of the bullet."
The shootings took place about 1:30 a.m. Saturday, but as of late Sunday afternoon no suspects had been identified. A 16-year-old girl at the same house was wounded by gunfire but is expected to survive.
Rosilyn Temple, president of the local chapter of Mothers in Charge, a crime victims' advocacy group, spent the early morning hours Saturday at the scene of the shootings, The Kansas City Star (http://bit.ly/2aQ6cV7 ) reported.
"They did not have a chance," Temple said, referring to the young victims. "They were defenseless, and they needed us as a community to support them, to take care of them and to protect them. At this moment, we have failed."
One boy was declared dead on arrival , while the other died at the hospital, police said.
The slayings happened just a few yards from where two men were killed in a hail of gunfire at a street party in 2013. Authorities at the time said the incident was prompted by a minor traffic accident.
Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker called Saturday's killings "another senseless tragedy."
Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com