‘Brothers are being taken out’: KC homicide victim had warned of dangers in life

Once while writing about Martin Luther King Jr., Derray Douglas warned about the dangers so many people face every day.

Dangerous people were out there, he said, “trying to take us brothers out by any means.”

Those fears came true for Douglas Tuesday afternoon, when the 31-year-old Kansas City man was found shot and killed at a home in the 5500 block of Michigan Avenue. Police were called to the home and Douglas was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police have not released any information about suspects or motive as their investigation continues.

Douglas is the city’s 109th homicide victim of the year. He leaves behind a toddler son and family who had relied on Douglas to help keep themselves on the good track.

“He was like the big brother I never had,” cousin David Sanders Jr. said. “The person I looked up to. He didn’t have a problem with anybody (and) always showed love.”

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Derray Douglas died Oct. 23 in the 5500 block of Michigan Avenue of a gunshot wound. Photo courtesy the family

Sanders shared his cousin’s writing from Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2015, when Douglas wanted to encourage so many people caught in the “struggle every day.”

“Ain’t no love, ain’t no justice for us,” Douglas wrote, and that should “make brothers come together as one.”

“Each and every one of us and somebody we know in this world Have a Dream too.”

David Sanders remembers what his cousin told him and he ponders what he wrote.

“It shows that even going through struggles, no matter what you go through you can make it out of a hard place to a better place,” he said. “Just remember God puts his strongest soldiers through the most.”

Anyone with information about Douglas’ death can call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).

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