Crime

Three charged after gunfire spreads chaos at funeral for teenage KC homicide victim

Three Kansas City men are facing charges in connection with gunfire that disturbed the funeral of a teenage homicide victim Saturday.

The gunfire created chaos at the funeral for An’Janique Wright, the 15-year-old who was gunned down earlier this month outside the Central Academy of Excellence during a basketball game.

No one was hit by the gunshots at the funeral Saturday, but the sound spread fear among mourners at Graceway church in Raytown even as the memorial services were attended by police officers.

Gerrad Rivera-Willis, 19, is charged in Jackson County Circuit Court with unlawful use of a weapon and resisting arrest. Gary P. Jones, 22, is charged with resisting arrest, and Zion M. Owsley, 20, is charged with resisting arrest and receiving stolen property.

The three were arrested by Kansas City police after officers in uniform conducting surveillance near the funeral heard the sound of about 10 gunshots shortly before 3:30 p.m., according to police reports filed with the charges.

Soon after, the officers saw a Nissan Altima speeding down East 55th Street. The police tried to stop the car but it fled and wrecked into another vehicle before stopping.

All three men ran away from the car, according to the charges, but were arrested.

Police seized two guns, including a .40-caliber handgun reported stolen in Overland Park. Owesley was accused of trying to hide the stolen gun in some bushes after the wreck, according to the charges.

When questioned by police, the men said they had been at the funeral and left in the same car with Jones driving, according to the documents.

Rivera-Willis allegedly told investigators that while leaving his cousin’s funeral he saw a “suspicious vehicle” in the parking lot, according to police.

He thought the occupants of the vehicle were going to shoot at him and thought he heard the sound of gunfire, according to the statement, so he shot his pistol two or three times in the direction of the vehicle until he heard the sound of police sirens.

He never saw anyone holding a gun or actually shooting, he said, according to the charging documents.

Prosecutors requested a bond of $30,000 for Rivera-Willis. They requested bonds of $5,000 for Jones and Owsley.

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Ian Cummings is the breaking news editor for The Kansas City Star, where he started as a reporter in 2015. He is a Kansas City native who graduated from the University of Kansas in 2012.
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