More than a year after he was shot to death in his Grandview home, family and friends of Donald “Donny” Ray Herron Jr. don’t want you to forget what happened to him.
They’ve increased a reward for information leading to an arrest or charges in the 2016 homicide case, and a family friend says they’re still raising money.
Authorities said last month that they’ve received just four tips since Herron was killed on June 6, 2016.
But the Grandview Police Department and the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers TIPS Hotline said in a recent news release that they continue to seek information from the public regarding Herron’s death. A close family friend recently said she added $500 to the existing reward for information leading to an arrest or the filing of charges in the case, bringing the total up to $2,500.
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Haley Hancock, a Belton resident and a family friend of the Herrons, said she started a GoFundMe account and has been selling key chains and bracelets in Herron’s memory. The money goes toward the reward for cracking the case. A Facebook page she manages is called “We Are His Voice.”
“He was the best kid in the world,” Hancock said. “He was my favorite of my stepson’s friends. I have his picture up and his obituary, and it just bothers me, because you don’t hear much about it.”
Herron, who was 25, died last year after police said three people broke into his home in the 6000 block of 153rd St. in Grandview and fatally shot him.
Police said the intruders confronted Herron’s fiancée, and ordered her to call Herron in the early morning hours the day he was killed. Herron had been on his way home with a friend.
Herron and his friend fought the intruders before one shot Herron several times, according to police. Herron’s fiancée and 1-year-old son were in a nearby room when Herron was shot.
Before fleeing the scene, police said the intruders took several items from the home.
Herron died later that morning at a hospital.
Investigators said in 2016 they did not believe the assailants went to the residence to harm Herron but to steal specific items.
Hancock said she remembers Herron when he went to school in Belton before he moved on to Lee’s Summit schools. He graduated from Lee’s Summit North High School in 2009, where he was an honorable-mention all-conference football player and also played basketball, baseball and ran track.
Herron was a backup quarterback at Missouri Western State University in 2014.
Before he died, Herron reportedly was able to identify one of the intruders in the home invasion, but no arrests have been reported and no charges have been filed in the case.
Despite the lack of tips to authorities, family and friends say they’re not giving up on seeking justice for the 25-year-old father, who was known for his smile and caring personality.
“We’re working on the next $500, but we’ve hit a wall,” Hancock said. “How many bracelets and key chains can you sell for the family? How many times can you ask people for money on GoFundMe? It’s like we’ve hit a wall, but we’re still trying.”
Anyone with information related to the June 2016 homicide is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477. Anonymous tips may also be submitted electronically at www.kccrimestoppers.com, or by downloading the P3TIPS app.