A 23-year-old man suspected in the killings of six people in south Kansas City appeared in Jackson County Circuit Court Monday to face formal charges in three of the deaths.
Fredrick Scott is charged with one count each of first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the slayings of Steven Gibbons, 57; John Palmer, 54; and Karen Harmeyer, 64.
Prosecutors have also named Scott as a person of interest in the killings of David Lenox, 67, Timothy S. Rice, 57, and Mike Darby, 61.
On Monday, about a dozen family members of victims attended the court hearing, including relatives of Rice and Darby who still hope to see charges filed in those deaths.
Darby’s son Brian said his family would continue attending court hearings to show prosecutors they are paying attention.
“It’s going to be a long process,” Brian Darby said. “It’s still a balance between horrible pain and anger. Today, it was more anger.
“We’re going to get through it together. The holidays are coming up. But we have a lot of friends and family.”
All five of the male victims were fatally shot, most from behind, in surprise attacks as they walked dogs, visited parks and, in one case, walked down a city street.
The killings happened within about a year. The first, Palmer, was killed Aug. 19, 2016, near Indian Creek Trail. The last, Gibbons, was gunned down after getting off a bus near 67th and Troost Avenue on Aug. 13.
Harmeyer’s body was found in July in the 12000 block of Blue Ridge Boulevard in Grandview. Prosecutors filed charges against Scott in that killing earlier this month and did not disclose any details about Harmeyer’s death.
Scott is black and the six victims were white. In 2014 Scott threatened to shoot up a school and “kill all white people,” according to court records. His mother said he was demonized by schizophrenia.
Police said they did not know if the shootings were racially motivated. Baker has said there was no clear motive.
Scott is being held in the Jackson County Detention Center on a $500,000 bond.
On Monday, a judge entered a not guilty plea for Scott in the three murder charges and the three counts of armed criminal action. Scott is scheduled to appear in court again Nov. 2.