Crime

KC homicide victim described as a ‘gentle giant’ mourning loss of beloved grandmother

Coty Henry was fatally shot inside his sisters’s car Thursday afternoon.
Coty Henry was fatally shot inside his sisters’s car Thursday afternoon. Dana Corey

Coty Henry was likely just waiting for a friend to get home when he was fatally shot outside his sister’s apartment complex Thursday, his cousin Shalea Taylor said.

Henry, 25, once lived in the complex and still had friends there, as well as his sister, LaSadie Smith.

Officers were called to the Trails at the Ridge Apartment complex at 61st Terrace and Blue Ridge Cutoff to investigate a shooting at 2:45 p.m. Henry was pronounced dead shortly after they arrived at the scene.

Henry’s loved ones are in shock that someone could hurt such a loving man. Although he was 6 feet tall and weighed more than 300 pounds, they described Henry as a “teddy bear” and “gentle giant.”

“(The family is) just hurt and doesn’t know why (it happened),” said Dana Carey, the girlfriend of Richard Lee, another of Henry’s cousins. “He wouldn’t hurt a fly.”

Henry earned a degree in business management at Langston University in Oklahoma before moving back to Kansas City, his hometown.

“He always wanted people to be happy and smile around him,” Taylor said. “He wanted to be compassionate and always wanted to help.”

He was a go-to babysitter for Taylor and Carey. Both said Henry was great with their children and always willing to lend a hand.

Taylor said Henry was her son’s favorite cousin.

“I was hoping that he would be another male role model for him,” Taylor said. “Coty was a very humble person, gentle, fun-loving — a lot of characteristics I’d like my son to have.”

Taylor had grown up alongside Henry in their grandmother’s home. Their grandmother passed away two months ago.

“Before his grandma passed away, he would go over and clean her house and cook for her,” Carey said.

He liked to brag that he was her favorite.

“I’m really thankful that she didn’t have to witness this,” Taylor said.

Since losing his grandmother, Taylor said Henry had been putting a lot of energy into photography for She Rulin’ Enterainment, a production company he had started with his friend.

“He was really being humbled this last part of his life,” Taylor said. “He was telling me that he was wanting to stay focused on living out his dreams.”

When Henry wasn’t working to develop the company, Taylor said Henry played video games. His favorite game was NBA 2K, a basketball simulation game.

“He’s a little nerd,” Carey said.

The family has set up a GoFundMe page to cover funeral costs.

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