Daughter of man killed in Kansas City trails shootings opens up about her dad

Five months after Timothy Rice was found dead at Minor Park — one of a string of fatal shootings along Kansas City walking trails — his daughter wants the public to know her father. And she wants help.

“My dad was one of the friendliest people you could ever meet, he didn't know a single stranger,” Hannah Rice wrote about her father in an email to The Star Monday evening.

Timothy Rice, 57, of Excelsior Springs was found on April 4 inside a shelter at Minor Park, near East Red Bridge Road and 110th Street. He had been shot multiple times, including in the head. Police found several 9mm shell casings at the scene.

Rice was one of five middle-aged white men killed since last year in South Kansas City, mostly in isolated spots on popular walking trails along Indian Creek, Minor Park and Blue River.

The fifth killing occurred on Aug. 13 when the shooter followed a man from a city bus, crept up behind him on the street and shot him in the head — before turning and getting right back on a bus.

A few weeks later, Kansas City Police arrested 22-year-old Fredrick Demond Scott and charged him with murder in the deaths of Steven Gibbons, 57, and John Palmer, 54. He is also named as a suspect in the killings of Mike Darby, 61, co-owner of Coach’s Bar and Grill at 103rd Street and Wornall; David Lenox, 67; and Hannah Rice’s father.

She said in her message that her dad, who had been an electrician most of his life, “could make conversation with anyone at anytime.” And, she said that after 13 years of being divorced, her dad and mom had remained friends and had lunch together on the day he died.

“I will always remember how he loved taking me as a child on hikes and fishing trips, we always would compete on who could catch the most fish. My father wasn't perfect by any means but he had a genuine heart,” Hannah Rice wrote.

“No one ever expects something like this to happen in your life. To have your loved one brutally taken away from you,” she said, adding that her heart goes out to the other four families who also lost loved ones.

Her message thanked Kansas City police for their work on the killings. “They have done a phenomenal job chasing leads and working nonstop to catch this violent person,” she said.

Hannah Rice also called for the public to provide police with help in the case.

“I also want to urge anyone to come forth with any information you may have no matter how small,” she wrote. “It may just be the right information KCPD needs to see all of our families the justice we deserve.”

Mará Rose Williams: 816-234-4419, @marawilliamskc