KC police identify man shot to death inside his Northland home

A gunman shot and killed a 47-year-old Northland man over the weekend during an apparent home burglary gone bad, Kansas City police said Tuesday.

Police identified the victim on Tuesday as David A. Ruth, 47. He was home alone at the house he shared with his girlfriend in the 4700 block of North Bennington Avenue when someone broke in, killed him and stole firearms, valuables and his pickup truck.

Police later found the truck abandoned more than 11 miles away, just off Interstate 435 and Sni-a-Bar Road.

Investigators aren’t sure exactly when Ruth was killed. His body was found about 1 p.m. Sunday after his girlfriend, who was out of town tending to a family situation, could not reach him by phone and asked a relative to check on him. The relative found Ruth dead inside the home.

Detectives were talking to relatives Tuesday to see the last time they had contact with Ruth, a custom cabinet maker.

Ruth’s brother, Danny Ruth, a sergeant with the Clay County sheriff’s office, said David Ruth and his girlfriend had dated for about five years and planned to marry this year.

“I’ve seen just about everything,” Danny Ruth said of his law enforcement career. “But until it hits close to home ... wow, it’s just an eye-opener.”

Ruth said his brother loved to ride his Harley-Davidson motorcycle and bow hunt. He has an adult daughter from a previous marriage. David Ruth didn’t have any enemies and was “always there for people and always friendly. This whole thing is senseless.”

Neighbors said the couple previously had lived in a house David Ruth owned but moved in the last year or so into the girlfriend’s home. Neighbors said David Ruth always waved at them from his riding lawn mower as he spent hours cutting the grass on the 12-acre property, which backs up to a large wooded area.

The area has become more dangerous in recent years, neighbors said. Police sirens are heard often, they say. One neighbor, who has a concealed-carry permit, said he does yard work with a gun on his hip for protection.

Anyone with information should call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).