Crime

‘It’s wrong’: Family says young father-to-be was shot in the back in Kansas City

Dana Pearson, uncle of Kansas City homicide victim, speaks

Dana Pearson says the man shot and killed on Wabash Avenue Saturday was his nephew, Jordan Matthews. The shooting was reported about 10:30 p.m. near 81st Street and Wabash in Kansas City.
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Dana Pearson says the man shot and killed on Wabash Avenue Saturday was his nephew, Jordan Matthews. The shooting was reported about 10:30 p.m. near 81st Street and Wabash in Kansas City.

Jordan Matthews was excited about the pending birth of his first child.

The 25-year-old Kansas City man had lined his bedroom with stuffed animals, including a large pink bear, a baby stroller, and an assortment of other baby items he already purchased for the child.

On Sunday, relatives placed the large pink bear Matthews was saving for his child on the corner of 81st Street and Wabash Avenue. The bear was part of a makeshift memorial in honor of Matthews who was found fatally shot there late Saturday.

Police were called to the area about 10:30 p.m. and found him on the sidewalk, shot. He was pronounced dead a short time later.

Police have not released his name, but his family spoke about it Sunday. No description of a suspect was available.

“Last night was not right, whoever did this was wrong,” said his uncle, Dana Pearson.

While at the corner, the family prayed and lamented the loss of a loved one.

“That boy ain’t never hurt nobody,” Pearson said. “His heart was too big. If he seen a cat up a tree, you know what he gonna do? He’s gonna climb that tree and bring it down to whoever owned it.”

Matthews played drums for a neighborhood church. Relatives said they were devastated and prayed Sunday afternoon for God to comfort them in their time of bereavement.

“He shouldn’t be gone,” Pearson said.

Saundrea Johnson said she and her family have lived in the neighborhood for about five years and saw residents have a very active neighborhood association and crime watch group.

“I’ve never had a problem over here, it’s been peaceful,” Johnson said. “No drama and everyone stays to themselves.”

Neighbors said they heard several gunshots late Saturday. Relatives said they thought the commotion was a car wreck. They walked to the corner where police had put up crime scene tape and saw Matthews sprawled on the pavement.

“Somebody did something wrong to the wrong man. That brother had a life to live,” Pearson said about his nephew’s death.

The shooting marked the 43rd homicide recorded in Kansas City this year. At this time last year, the city had counted 40 homicides and reached 137 by the end of 2018.

Police asked anyone with information about the shooting to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477.

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Glenn E. Rice covers crime, courts and breaking news for The Kansas City Star, where he’s worked since 1988. Rice is a Kansas City native and a graduate of the University of Central Missouri.


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