Crime

Victims of Kansas City triple shooting identified; prosecutors announce charges

Following a triple homicide late Thursday in an east Kansas City neighborhood, police have identified the victims and charges have been filed against two people.

The incident was reported shortly before 9 p.m. at a house in the 4600 block of South Benton Avenue. All of the victims were adults and were found dead at the scene, said Officer Doaa El-Ashkar, a Kansas City police spokeswoman.

Police said Friday that the victims were two adult women, and one adult man. They were identified by police as Larry Barnes, 40; Brandy Jones, 38; and Larona Jones, 42.

Officers were on patrol in the 4500 block of South Benton Avenue when they heard the sound of gunfire, El-Ashkar told reporters at the scene Thursday night.

The officers then saw two people in the middle of the street. When officers attempted to stop them, one person ran away, El-Ashkar said. Police were able to capture that person.

Meanwhile, the other person, who was allegedly armed with a firearm, surrendered to police, she said.

One man and one woman, later identified in court records as Lynnsey D. Jones, 35, and Victor Sykes, 43, were detained for questioning, police said Friday. The Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office charged the pair with three counts of first-degree murder and armed criminal action.

Officers found the bodies of three people — two bodies were outside of a house and the third was inside of a house.

Detectives and crime scene investigators remained at the scene, interviewing witnesses and collecting evidence.

Several people stood outside the yellow crime scene tape, waiting for answers and exchanging hugs as police continued the investigation late into the night.

The homicides reported Thursday night are the city’s 120th, 121st and 122nd of the year according to stats kept by The Star, which includes fatal police shootings. That compares to 117 homicides that were reported by this time in 2018.

Anyone with information about the shootings is asked to call Kansas City Police Department’s Homicide Unit at 816-234-5043 or the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477). There is a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in any homicide.

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Kaitlyn Schwers covers breaking news and crime at night for The Kansas City Star. Originally from Willard, Mo., she spent nearly three years reporting in Arkansas and Illinois before returning to Missouri and joining The Star in 2017.
Robert A. Cronkleton gets up very early in the morning to bring readers breaking news about crime, transportation and weather at the crack of dawn. He’s been at The Star since 1987 and now contributes data reporting and video editing.
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