Crime

Dad-to-be was slain on KC construction site after gunman not given a smoke, mom says

Johnathon Porter
Johnathon Porter Facebook

Early Tuesday morning, Johnathon L. Porter was beginning another day at work, laying pipe for a Kansas-City based construction company near Ninth and Brooklyn streets, when a passer-by asked for a cigarette.

Porter, who doesn't smoke, told the man he couldn't help him.

The passer-by "walked away and then turned around and shot him," police told Porter's mother, Lindy Porter. A preliminary investigation indicated the shooting was random.

Porter, 23, was expecting his first child, a girl, late next month. Her name will be Adley.

"I just hate the fact that he's never going to be able to hold her," Lindy Porter said through tears.

Porter's fiancée had a baby shower planned for this weekend.

The gunman was still being sought by police as of Tuesday afternoon.

Construction workers in the area were interviewed, and Porter's company issued a statement, calling the shooting heartbreaking.

"Until we know more, we are working with police and InfraSource to pull crews off the streets in the Kansas City area," the company said. "We ask that you hold this man, his family, his friends, InfraSource and utility workers and our communities in your thoughts and prayers."

Porter's mother wishes the gunman had known Porter, because then he surely wouldn't have pulled the trigger, she said.

"His smile would light up the room. ... He was just perfect. Everybody who knew Johnathon absolutely loved him. He was just the sweetest boy."

Porter grew up in Appleton City, about 80 miles south of Kansas City. As a child, he'd often pull his mother into spontaneous dancing, "no music or anything," Lindy Porter said.

He loved art, and his mother recently found some of his old drawings hung up on a wall in his closet.

"Course I laughed at it at the time, but now it’s something I’m never going to paint over," Lindy Porter said.

Porter attended school until the 10th grade and then earned his GED, his mother said.

His fiancée is his best friend's sister, and Porter had moved to Nebraska to be closer to her.

The couple then moved back to Kansas City shortly after Christmas to be closer to relatives. They were searching for their own house.

Porter loved the outdoors, including kayaking, hiking and swimming.

At the hospital after the shooting, Lindy Porter said she couldn't see her son's body as it had to be transferred to the Jackson County Medical Examiner for an autopsy.

"All I want is to just see him, touch his head or shoulder just one more time," Lindy Porter said.

Porter's fiancée is devastated and in shock, Lindy Porter said.

"She loved him so much. I'm just glad he was able to have that."

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The shooter walked up to a group of workers at a construction site at Ninth and Brooklyn and briefly spoke to them before he pulled out a gun and fired several shots at the group as he walked away, witnesses say.



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A utility worker died at a hospital after being shot Tuesday morning, April 24, 2018, at a job site in Kansas City. The shooting occurred about 8:30 a.m. near Ninth Street and Brooklyn Avenue. Jill Toyoshiba The Kansas City Star

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