The area’s latest homicide scene is a home in Kansas City, Kan., whose walls should have sheltered a child.
Ten-year-old Machole J. Stewart was hit by a bullet after someone peppered her house at the corner of 15th Street and New Jersey Avenue with gunfire about 7 p.m. Sunday.
That is not supposed to happen. Bullets aren’t supposed to find children inside the shelter of their own homes.
But neither are bullets supposed to strike down a child leaving a store with a purchase of bubble gun, which happened in Kansas City just nine days before Machole was murdered in her home. Angel Hooper, 6, was slain while leaving a 7-Eleven at 107th Street and Blue Ridge Boulevard with her father.
Both shootings were the result of someone firing from a passing vehicle.
The cowardice of the gunmen is stunning. They murder children and disappear into the night. Worse, they are protected by the silence of witnesses.
Multiple persons were in the area of the convenience store when Angel was shot. Yet police have received few tips. Community outrage at the murder of a 6-year-old should have propelled police to a quick arrest. It’s appalling that a killer so reckless can remain free.
Let us hope for better results in KCK. Children had been playing outside just before the gunfire rang out, and police reported multiple vehicles in a two-block area were hit by bullets. People with information should call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (474-8477).
Machole’s murder was the tragic exclamation point to a weekend punctuated by multiple shooting incidents. There are too many guns in the hands of the wrong people, and police and area leaders have too few tools to do anything about that. The situation is out of hand, and children are paying the price.