Friends remember missionary Xindong Hao, who was killed in south Kansas City
A PCP-crazed gunman unloading in a south Kansas City neighborhood Wednesday turned his shotgun on an unsuspecting missionary from China — “a fisher of men,” mournful friends said — who was shot dead.
The victim, Xindong Hao, had just arrived in Kansas City on Monday with his wife and four children to join fellow missionaries at Kansas City’s International House of Prayer, his friends said.
Hao’s English might not have been strong enough to know why people were shouting at him while he was taking a walk Wednesday evening, said his friend Tony Petrehn. Police say 18-year-old Curtrail Hudson was engaged in a two-block long shooting spree down Bridge Manor Drive, where Hao was staying.
Two other people were wounded.
“He didn’t understand the warning,” Petrehn said. “I hear he shot him point-blank.
“It’s tragic. A father of four young kids pulled away like that.”
Hao had enrolled all four of his children in a day camp at the International House of Prayer, said Lenny LaGuardia, vice president of ministries. The Christian evangelical mission is headquartered on Red Bridge Road, just north of the scene of the shooting.
Hao’s children are aged 2, 4, 6 and 8. His wife, Laura Hao, is from North Carolina. The family lived together in China.
“We’re praying day and night for violence to cease within out communities,” LaGuardia said. Hao, he said, “comes to town to enroll his children in the day camp, and he’s gunned down.”
Inside the religious facility, two women, both Chinese nationals, mourned together in a hallway. Tears streamed down one woman’s face as she listened to a whispered prayer from the other woman. The two held hands.
One, who didn’t wish to be named for fear of reprisal by the Chinese government, said she lives near the site of the shooting.
“I was just thinking, ‘God protect me,’ because I always walk over there,” she said.
Hudson was charged Thursday with second-degree murder. Officers believe he was high on PCP when he started firing at people around 7 p.m. Wednesday, according to court documents.
“I had a shotgun,” Hudson told police, according to court records. “They started shooting at me. I shot three times.”
No one fired at Hudson, according to court records.
Hudson told police he believed Hao was an accomplice of another man he’d been arguing with moments before. The other man was identified as “victim #2.”
Victim #2 and Hudson were arguing because victim #2 may have spoken to Hudson’s sister, Hudson told police.
Hudson told police that he shot at him three times with a 12-gauge shotgun. As he ran away, he said he thought he saw the man reach for a gun on his hip, according to court records.
Hudson then came upon Hao, who was speaking on the phone. Hudson told police he thought he heard Hao say, “He is right here.”
Hudson thought Hao was “after him” along with victim #2, police wrote in court documents.
Hudson approached Hao and fired multiple times at him. Hudson saw a round strike Hao’s side and watched him fall to the ground, according to court records.
Witnesses said after Hao was shot, the gunman hit him multiple times with the butt of the shotgun.
Victim #2 suffered gunshot wounds to his neck and back. He was transported by family to a hospital.
A third man driving in a truck in the area saw Hudson shoot Hao, according to police. Hudson then turned the gun on that man, identified as victim #3, who was grazed. A witness told police that Hudson was running behind the truck and “continued to shoot as he ran.”
Hudson told police he did not recall shooting at the third victim.
Hudson then kicked the shotgun into a storm drain, according to police.
Hudson’s relatives, whom he had phoned earlier, drove over and picked him up.
He got into an argument with one relative, exited the vehicle and fell down, according to court documents. The relative then restrained Hudson until police arrived.
Hudson, who was taken into custody Wednesday night, was also charged with four counts of armed criminal action, two counts of first-degree assault and unlawful use of a weapon. All are felonies.
He had no prior offenses in Missouri, according to a search of court records.
His bond was set at $500,000 cash.
Huan Wei, chairwoman of the Mid-America Asian Cultural Association based in Kansas City, said many churches in the Kansas City area often invite Chinese students for summer school programs.
“I think the recent incidents are a matter of a gun problem,” Wei said.
Petrehn, Hao’s friend, said Hao liked to fish, but he was a better “fisher of men,” referring to his missionary work.
Hao spread the Gospel in China, sometimes doing so secretly in a nation whose government discourages certain religions, Petrehn said.
Doing so was “his heart and passion,” Petrehn said.