Alvino Crawford had spent the Fourth of July helping feed the homeless and caring for those in need.
Despite experiencing a rough patch that sent him to prison about a decade ago, Crawford was working to rebuild his life and find employment, said his relatives.
Early Tuesday, police said someone fatally shot Crawford not far from his home near 83rd Terrace and Campbell Street.
Residents alerted police to a shooting about 2:30 a.m. Officers arrived and found Crawford sprawled near the intersection. By the time paramedics responded, Crawford had died.
Crawford, 29, is the city’s 51st homicide this year. The metro area has recorded 78 in 2016.
Neighbors said they did not detect the sound of gunfire amid the late-night fireworks. One said whoever shot the victim likely set off fireworks to cover the sound of the gunfire.
On Monday, Crawford jumped into the serving line to help feed the homeless during the barbecue at Hope Faith Ministries at Seventh Street and Virginia Avenue. The line of several hundred guests had snaked along the ministry’s parking lot.
“It looked like he was working pretty hard,” said Terri Kinney, the agency’s meals and nutrition coordinator. “He kind of took it upon himself to jump in and help.”
Crawford was adopted when he was 4 years old and grew up in the Kansas City area. He attended Ruskin High School and lived in Florida for several years where he connected with relatives and briefly worked.
He moved back to Kansas City about two years ago. Crawford had recently worked for a trash service but was looking for another job, said his father, Alvino R. Crawford.
The elder Crawford described his son as a jokester who enjoyed making others happy.
“He was jovial, and he had a fun outlook on life,” said Crawford. “He loved to play and to make people laugh, and that was his persona.”
The younger Crawford wanted to become an artist and work as a graphic artist. But he also planned to attend barber school with the goal of operating his own business, said his father.
He and other family members were distraught and were trying to figure out how the shooting occurred.
“We are Christians so our faith is what sustains us, and being surrounded by caring family and friends is a stabilizing force,” Crawford’s father said.
In 2006, Crawford pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery and served 120 days of shock time in a Missouri prison.
“He cared about life, he cared about people and was striving to live a positive, moral life while he was working through some challenges,” said his father.
Anyone with information about the shooting is encouraged to call the Tips Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).