A quiet east side Kansas City neighborhood was jolted awake early Monday as a gunman killed a woman in a house, then shot to death a fleeing teenage girl and shot at two other woman trying to escape, according to police and witnesses.
Minutes later the gunman was fatally shot by Kansas City police after he exchanged gunfire with officers shortly after he set the house in the 7900 bock of East 48th Street ablaze.
One of the female victims was the mother of the man's child; the teen was his 17-year-old cousin, a relative told The Star.
Police have not released the names of the victims.
Officers responded about 2:30 a.m. to the one-story, corner house on reports of shots fired. While surrounding the house, officers found a woman's body outside, police said.
A short time later, a man left the house and fired a weapon at officers. The officers returned fire, killing the man, police said.
Police then noticed smoke coming from the house and saw flames. Firefighters responded and put out the blaze.
While searching the house, another woman’s body was found inside.
Sharon Robinson said that sometime overnight her nephew went to her sister’s house, where the mother of his young daughter was staying. Robinson’s niece (the man's teenage cousin) was at the house, too, along with her sister and the nephew’s father. Another woman may also have been in the home.
“They said he came in the house acting weird,” Robinson said.
“He just came over and told my sister that he wanted to stay the night and she told him OK,” she said.
He told them he was going to do something to the mother of his child in front of everyone. When Robinson’s sister disagreed, the nephew went downstairs. The mother of his child followed.
That’s when he shot her, Robinson said.
The man's father and Robinson's sister were able to escape, Robinson said.
But as the man's cousin was running away, he shot her outside the house, where she collapsed and died.
Robinson's nephew then went back inside and set it on fire. He confronted police when they arrived.
“I’m shocked. I’m in a daze,” Robinson said. “This is out of the ordinary. Somebody must’ve gave him something. He don’t act like this.”
Marty, a neighbor who lives across the street and asked that his last name not be used as a crime witness, woke up to the sound of gunfire. He looked outside and saw the gunman on the front porch shooting at someone.
The gunman then got into a car and that’s when Marty said he realized he was shooting at two women who were running down the street. It is unclear who the women were. The gunman followed the women in his car as they ran north on Sycamore.
At one point, the man got out of the car and fired again at the women as they fled. They were able to escape. The man then got back into the car and returned to the house. Marty thought it was odd that he took time to back the car into the driveway.
The man went inside the house and turned out the lights. That’s when Marty called 911. Soon thereafter, five heavily armed officers arrived.
“They were ready for this,” Marty said. They took cover behind a tree in his front yard and behind his pickup truck parked in front of his house.
“The guy charged out and they (officers) shot him,” Marty said. “I don’t how many shots he got off at them, but he was shooting at them.”
Marty saw the muzzle flashes from the gunfire. Later he realized bullets pierced the side of his pickup. Police also found 18 shell casings in his front yard, Marty said.
“It was pretty scary,” Marty said. “My daughter was in her bedroom and she could’ve been shot. Who knows?”
The family had lived there for about a year, Marty said. They were quiet neighbors and Marty’s wife noticed that they had recently celebrated a birthday, he said.