KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KMBC/CNN) - Police are investigating the murder of a 4-year-old boy, who was shot while sleeping at his apartment complex in Kansas City, Missouri.
Gunfire from outside the Citadel Apartments awoke neighbors in the early morning hours Monday. When officers arrived, they learned a 4-year-old boy had been shot while asleep in his bed then rushed to the hospital by a family member.
The 4-year-old, later identified as Legend Taliferro, died from his injuries.
“I just want to go find the family and hug them because it’s not right,” one neighbor said.
Based on their preliminary investigation, detectives believe the shooting was not random and that the apartment was targeted.
“Something like that should never happen in our city, and this horrific taking of an innocent life should shock every corner of our community to action. I can’t imagine what his family is going through right now. Our hearts break for them. We will do everything we can to pursue justice for Legend and his family,” said Police Chief Rick Smith in a news release.
Detectives are trying to find witnesses to help with the investigation. There is a $25,000 cash reward for information on Legend’s killer.
Mayor Quinton Lucas responded to the news on Twitter.
“This is a nightmare for any parent and I can’t imagine the pain with which they’re dealing this morning. The boy was asleep. Malicious shooting with no regard for others claims another innocent life in our city,” he wrote.
Kansas City has seen 92 homicides so far in 2020, the most violent year on public record since at least 2016.
“We can’t get mad at nobody until we get mad at ourselves. That’s the only way it’s gonna happen. We got to get mad at ourselves and say, ‘What can I do? What can I do to make this work?‘” said community activist Pat Clarke.
Lucas says the government is doing all it can to help. He’s now calling residents to action.
“Somebody also has to tell people, ultimately, don’t resolve situations with a gun,” he said. “I ask people [to] mentor that young person that may not be acting right right now. Talk to somebody who needs some guidance, some monitorship. Trust me, I’ve done that, too,” he said.