By Anna Spoerre
Source The Kansas City Star
The week of Christmas, five people were killed in Kansas City, officially making 2021 the second-deadliest year on record.
Across the entire metro area in the past week, seven people were killed. All but one were shot.
The known victims ranged in age from a juvenile to 46. Across the seven killings, one arrest was immediately made.
The entire metro area has suffered at least 215 homicides this year. In Kansas City alone, 156 people have been killed in 2021. Last year, 182 people across Kansas City became homicide victims. That was the most ever.
The last time Kansas City saw anywhere close to as many homicides as 2020 and 2021 was 2017, when the city recorded 155 killings, including four fatal police shootings.
"This is why I talk public safety so much," Mayor Quinton Lucas tweeted on Thursday as the city was on the verge of breaking yet another grim killing record. "My condolences to all those impacted by violent crime. I commit to making sure we never stop trying to make a difference in our City's greatest challenge."
4 killed in 3 days
Kansas City police were called just after 12:30 a.m. Tuesday to the scene of a shooting in the 8700 block of North Kansas Place. There, police found Roman Yslas, 46, unresponsive in the parking lot of an apartment complex. He was declared dead at the scene.
The father of eight was remembered as a source of strength for his family who had served in the U.S. Air Force and loved the Chiefs.
The next evening, on Wednesday, a juvenile was shot and killed in Kansas City, Kansas.
Officers were dispatched at 7:45 p.m. to the 2700 block of Stewart Avenue on a call of shots fired in the area, police said. A boy was found deceased at the scene. Police have not yet released the victim's name or age.
About three hours later, in Kansas City, Missouri, a man was killed during an altercation.
Police responded to a call about a prowler just after 11 p.m. Wednesday in the 2700 block of East Linwood Boulevard, police said at the time. When officers arrived, they were told there was an altercation outside the front of the apartment building between the victim and an unknown suspect, who had left the scene.
The victim "was cut or otherwise injured," and was transported to a hospital where he was declared dead, police said.
The following morning, on Thursday, Kansas City police were dispatched to a shooting at about 2:45 a.m. in the 6800 block of Northeast Ridgeway Avenue. There they found 37-year-old Jason Harris suffering from gunshot wounds. He was taken to a hospital where he later died.
Witnesses at the scene told police that a disturbance in the front yard of a home preceded the shooting. The next day, the Clay County Prosecutor's Office charged Daniel Cranfill, 34, with murder in Harris' killing.
Christmas Eve killings
At about 7:30 a.m. Friday, someone called 9-1-1 to report that someone was in their yard. Police arrived and found Antonio Griddine, 30, unresponsive on the ground near 41st Street and Monroe Avenue. Griddine, who had been shot, was declared dead at the scene.
Later in the day, across the Kansas River, police responded to a shooting where one person was killed and another was injured inside a home in the 2900 block of North 73rd Street in Kansas City, Kansas. The victim, who was declared dead Friday evening, has not yet been identified by police.
Christmas shooting death
On Christmas morning, at about 11:45 a.m., 23-year-old Clifford Harris was found shot inside a vehicle off the road near the 4900 block of Raytown Road. Harris was declared dead at the scene.
Though no suspect was immediately identified, investigators believe someone in another vehicle pulled up next to the victim's car, fired shots and then left the scene, police said at the time.
Child dies in Independence
Also on Friday, a 2-year-old died when a gun they were handling discharged while inside a home in the 500 block of South Glenwood Avenue in Independence. Soon after, a suspect was taken into custody in the child's death, Independence police said.
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