Firearm related homicides and injuries continue to plague KC

By LESLIE COLLINS
Northeast News
May 1, 2013

While Kansas City’s homicide rate has trended downward since the 1990s, firearm related homicides have remained steady.

From 2002 to 2012, 76 percent of Kansas City’s homicides were associated with a gun, said Dr. Rex Archer, director of health for the city of Kansas City.

Archer discussed the findings of a new health department report during a recent city Public Safety and Emergency Services Committee meeting.

More than half of Kansas City’s homicides are retaliation homicides and some homicides result from an undiagnosed mental illness, he said.

“Sometimes the general public thinks the folks that are crazy are the ones that are causing some of these homicides,” Archer said. “Sometimes when the public talks about the term crazy, they’re talking about what we as physicians call Schizophrenia – people who have a variety of psychotic delusions and isssues. It’s actually not the case.”

Those with mental illnesses like Schizophrenia aren’t more likely than the general population to commit a homicide, he said. However, undiagnosed or not properly treated depression can lead to homicide.

“Not only are there suicides from that lack of treatment, sometimes they become combination homicide/suicides,” Archer said.

One finding Archer called “troublesome” is Children’s Mercy Hospital has seen its caseload of unintentional firearm injuries double, which most likely means firearms aren’t being properly secured and safely stored, he said. Earlier this month, a 12-year-old boy in Kansas City accidentally shot and killed his 14-year-old brother. The 12-year-old has now been charged with first-degree involuntary manslaughter, a Class C felony.

In 2002 the number of emergency room visits due to unintentional firearm related injuries was 9.7 per 100,000 population. By 2010, that number was 19.5.

firearm_graphic

 

 

 

Also alarming is that 57 percent of Kansas City’s homicides are occurring in zip codes 64110, 64127, 64128, 64130, 64131, 64132 and 64134.

“If our homicide rate was homogenous throughout the city or the metro area, in my opinion, there would have been much more outrage about it a long time ago,” Public Safety Chair John Sharp said.

Public Safety Committee member Jermaine Reed stressed it’s important to look past the statistics and remember these are individuals. Archer agreed.

“It is important to remember they are individuals,” Archer said. “When I was 20, my brother was shot and killed, and we’ve lost two health department staff in the last two years from homicides, so we feel this very much.”

“Over 100 homicides every year (in Kansas City) is not acceptable,” Reed said. “And the people’s lives who are taken senselessly is not acceptable.”

Sharp said while Washington, D.C., is considered a violent city, it was able to drop its homicide rate to 88 homicides in 2012.

“They have done a tremendous turnaround,” Sharp said, adding that hearing from Washington, D.C., officials during a future meeting could be beneficial.

“We clearly have a long way to go and this is an issue that is vital to all of us,” Sharp said.

 

Comments are closed.

  • Weekend Preview: Happenings around the Historic Northeast

    April 29th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News April 29, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – It’s time for another weekend in Kansas City, and that means […]


    Looking for #1? It’s here in the Northeast

    April 29th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News April 29, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Two years ago Stephan Zweifler and Carl Markus pursued their dream […]


    KC Council takes streetcar test run

    April 28th, 2016
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News April 28, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – The KCMO City Council gathered at Union Station […]


    All smiles at the Independence and Benton groundbreaking

    April 28th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News April 28, 2016 Kansas City stakeholders and local dignitaries alike wore wide smiles on Thursday, April 28, as […]


    Andrew Johnson Obituary

    April 28th, 2016
    by

    KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Andrew Johnson, 94, of Kansas City, MO passed away April 25, 2016 at home. Visitation from […]


  • Alternative funding sources available in the Northeast

    April 27th, 2016
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News April 27, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Have a business plan that you know your […]


    Lead found at Garrison Community Center

    April 27th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News April 27, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – The city of Kansas City’s Health Department is advising residents and […]


    KCMO pledges $27 million for 18th and Vine

    April 26th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News One day after breaking ground on a $14 million youth baseball partnership with the Kansas City Royals and Major League Baseball, KCMO officials have announced plans for a $27.6


    Independence Ave. CID to strengthen park security

    April 26th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News Independence Plaza Park will soon be a lot more family-friendly.
    During the Independence Ave. “Love Your Park” event on Saturday, April 23, Independence Avenue CID president Bobbi Baker-Hughes announced an


    Snyder’s is stocking product

    April 26th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News If you’ve noticed a flurry of activity at the Snyder’s Grocery store site lately, you’re not seeing things.


  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    ‘One of the greatest playgrounds in America’

    Northeast News The description inside this vintage 1930s Curt Teich linen postcard folder of the Lake of the Ozarks reads, “Lake of the Ozarks is formed by a huge dam

    retorts illustrated bryan stalder

    retorts illustrated bryan stalder [...]

    City, MLB break ground on KC Urban Youth Academy

    Northeast News Kansas City politicians, dignitaries, and even some Royals baseball players came to Parade Park on Wednesday, April 20, for the official groundbreaking ceremony of the Kansas City Urban

  • [Advertisement.]