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Young mother who ‘lived out loud’ is grieved as KC police probe triple killing

mcampbell@kcstar.com

Ali R. Brown and her 2-year-old son, Karson Southerland, were shot Thursday at a Kansas City apartment complex. Brown was killed, but Karson is expected to survive.
Ali R. Brown and her 2-year-old son, Karson Southerland, were shot Thursday at a Kansas City apartment complex. Brown was killed, but Karson is expected to survive. Courtesy of the family, via Facebook

A 20-year-old mother who was among three people shot and killed Thursday had come to Kansas City for a fresh start.

Ali Renee Brown was killed in a quintuple shooting in an apartment in the 8600 block of East 62nd Street in Kansas City. Her 2-year-old son, Karson Southerland, was also shot, according to Brown’s brother, Trent Brown.

Her former boyfriend, Ryan Edwards, expressed his grief on Facebook.

“Why wasn’t I there to protect you?” he posted the day after the killing. “I truly lost the love of my life.”

On Tuesday, Edwards posted a picture of a sonogram that was taken in May with the words, “Our due date was yesterday.”

Trent Brown said Tuesday his sister had been pregnant but lost the baby. He said she and Edwards had split up but remained friends.

Darrell E. Thomas, 29, and Victoria Brown, 28, were also killed in the attack, which occurred about 9:30 p.m. Thursday. Another adult also was wounded.

Trent Brown said his nephew, who is not Edwards’ son, was shot five times, but doctors think he will recover.

Police said they were seeking three male suspects who may have been in a black or blue four-door vehicle. Police declined to provide any other details regarding the investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).

Three people were killed and two others injured in a shooting Thursday night inside a Kansas City apartment.

Trent Brown said the other two victims were acquaintances of his sister’s. He said he had no idea why anyone would harm any of them.

A GoFundMe page to pay for funeral expenses and for Karson had raised $5,000 as of Tuesday afternoon.

Ali and Trent Brown were from St. Peters, Mo., in St. Charles County outside St. Louis.

“She was very happy and very outgoing,” Trent Brown said Tuesday. “She would do anything for anyone.”

Ali Brown was a cheerleader at Francis Howell Central High School, where she graduated in 2014, according to an obituary posted by the Baue Funeral Home in St. Charles. She also enjoyed gymnastics, volleyball and softball, as well as tubing at Mark Twain Lake.

“Ali was an outgoing young lady who definitely lived out loud,” the obituary said. “In her family’s eyes, she was both adventurous and brave. ... Ali is gone too soon, but her memory and her vibrant spirit will live on through all of those who loved her.”

Ali Brown’s mother, Rhonda Dean, also took to Facebook.

“Thank you to everyone for the messages & texts,” Dean wrote. “Everyone is asking what they can do...PLEASE hug your kids a little tighter...kiss them when they don’t want it & NEVER take one second for granted. Continue to pray for Karson, he’s all I have left of Ali & I know she will make sure he pulls through this.”

Ali Brown’s father, Shawn Brown, is a former mayor of St. Peters who pleaded guilty and served a prison term for soliciting and accepting a $2,750 bribe from a traffic light camera vendor, according to federal court records.

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