Crime

19-year-old shooting victim had big dreams, her father says

A young woman who wanted to be a police officer became a homicide victim instead inside a Northland apartment Friday afternoon.

Robbin Baska, 19, of Kansas City — a jokester who loved making others laugh — had left her own apartment because it was being fumigated, said her father, Robbie Baska. The killing happened as she napped about 3:30 p.m. in her mother’s apartment in the same complex in the 100 block of N.W. Harlem Road.

“Wrong place, wrong time,” Robbie Baska said Saturday.

According to what he’s been told, someone knocked on the apartment door. When Robbin Baska’s mother, Rebecca Lee, answered the door, a man and woman pushed their way inside, apparently to rob the occupants. One pointed a gun at Lee’s head, grabbed her by the throat and pushed her back toward the bathroom. Someone tripped over Robbin and Robbin ended up shot. She died at the scene.

She recently had been promoted to manager at the McDonald’s restaurant near North Kansas City Hospital, her father said. She had attended high school in Ottawa, Kan., and at Oak Park and Winnetonka high schools in the North Kansas City district.

Her career dream, likely inspired by family members, was to become a police officer. Her step-mother, Brandi Baska, is working on a criminal justice degree. Her father once had hoped to enter law enforcement but got derailed by bad knees. Other relatives have law enforcement careers in Colorado and New Mexico, her father said.

As a child, she loved to stuff pillows in the seat of her sweat pants and play with them to make people laugh. One day, while riding her bicycle, she asked what would happen if she stuck her foot in the spokes. She did — and did “a full flip over the handlebars,” her father said. It appeared she did that, too, to make others laugh.

A GoFundMe page with a $20,000 goal has been set up to help her parents pay funeral expenses.

“A sweet loving and very caring 19 year old young lady lost her life,” the posting says. “Right now Robbie and Brandi Baska are in a very hard time. Please help the Baska family in this time of tragedy.”

She leaves six siblings, her father and step-mother, her mother, grandparents and many friends, some of whom posted goodbye messages to social media on Saturday.

“I’m beyond upset,” wrote one young woman, who recounted going to Robbin’s house when they were 10 years old and drawing faces on their bellies.

Another Facebook poster called Robbin “probably the craziest white girl I’ve ever met,” and added, “but dang. I loved you like a sister.”

One of her sisters, Raegan Baska, recently had moved out of the apartment complex where the killing happened, in part because she didn’t like how unsafe the area seemed to be, Robbie Baska said.

In May and June of 2015, two other killings happened in that apartment complex. In those cases, both victims were stabbed by people they knew.

One of Raegan Baska’s former neighbors called her Friday to tell her what had happened to her younger sister.

When she called her father to report the bad news, she found him at church with her step-mother rehearsing for a Saturday service to renew their wedding vows after 15 years of marriage.

Now her family is planning a funeral.

“Robbin was a girl that could make anybody that was sad, happy,” her father said Saturday afternoon.

And that, he said, is what he’ll remember most about her.

Donna McGuire: 816-234-4393, @dmcguirekcstar

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