Police identify man slain outside Kansas City bar

Derrick Wren
Derrick Wren Courtesy of the family

Derrick Wren promised his mother Saturday that he would come to her Woodland Avenue house to pick up a serving of pinto beans and ham she had simmering on the kitchen stove.

He never arrived.

A gunman mortally wounded the 42-year-old Wren just before 8 p.m. Saturday as he stood outside a bar at 57th Street and Troost Avenue. He died later at a hospital, making him Kansas City’s 28th homicide of the year.

Wren, a father of three, argued with someone prior to the shooting, Kansas City police said. Investigators did not release details of what prompted the argument.

His death devastated his mother, Ludell Wren.

“Had he died of natural causes, that would have been easier to accept,” she said. “I can’t believe somebody killed my baby.”

A warehouse worker, Derrick Wren enjoyed working on cars. He came from a large family that included five older sisters and four older brothers. He liked spending time with family and visiting nightclubs. He had attended Westport High School but did not graduate.

Latonya Wren described her uncle as caring, loving and always having a smile on his face.

Wren was trying to save up enough to go on a family cruise to Mexico. Latonya Wren said she always encouraged her uncle to travel and get out of Kansas City.

She convinced him recently to attend a Beyonce and Jay Z concert with her in Dallas.

“He had the time of his life,” Latonya Wren said. “It met everything to him.”

When Ludell Wren spoke to him Saturday, he complained about not being paid enough for work done on repairing cars at a local auto repair shop.

“I told him to man up and tell the owner that you can’t pay your bills with that money,” she recalled telling him.

Ludell Wren called her son back later Saturday afternoon to let him know about some food she had prepared. Wren agreed to come over.

That was the last time Ludell Wren spoke to him.

A relative called that evening to say that Wren had been shot. Ludell Wren couldn’t believe the news.

She rushed with relatives to Research Medical Center and immediately was greeted by a chaplain who informed them that Wren had died.

“I’m having a hard time with this,” Ludell Wren said. “It’s been a hard pill to swallow.”

No arrests have been made, police said.

Investigators ask anyone with information about the shooting to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (474-8477).

Glenn E. Rice: 816-234-4341, @GRicekcstar