Firearm related homicides and injuries continue to plague KC

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.





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.

  • Superintendent Bedell joins NEAT for update on KCPS

    15 hours ago

      By Paul Thompson Northeast News October 21, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Mark Bedell is set to deliver a […]

    City fast-tracking plans to look at incentives, CID policy

    October 20th, 2016

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News October 20, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – The KCMO City Council may soon spend as […]

    Car chase ends at Budd Park

    October 19th, 2016

    Northeast News October 19, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Two suspects were arrested after a brief chase up Hardesty and […]

    Heroic Northeast teens honored by Jackson County Legislature

    October 19th, 2016

    Northeast News October 19, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Brothers Michael and Matt Rich, 16 and 19 respectively, were joined […]

    City audit recommends changes to controlled substance safeguards used by KCFD

    October 19th, 2016

    Northeast News October 19, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri -An audit released on Wednesday, October 19 has recommended that the Kansas […]

  • NEKCHS Homes Tour

    October 19th, 2016

    By Michael Bushnell Northeast News October 19, 2016 The Northeast Kansas City Historical Society (NEKCHS) hosted their annual Historic Homes […]

    Pair of new books set focus on the history of Kansas City

    October 19th, 2016

    Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri – A pair of books released this fall highlight the rich history of the Kansas City area.
    Just last week, Kansas City University of Medicine and…

    Memorial for fallen firefighters unveiled at Kansas City Museum

    October 14th, 2016

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News October 14, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – An emotional week for the friends and families […]

    McHale to take over as Chief of Police in Marion, Iowa

    October 14th, 2016

    Northeast News October 14, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – The Kansas City, Missouri Police Department will soon be losing one of […]

    Gladstone Elementary students share blessings

    October 14th, 2016

    Northeast News October 14, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Students from Gladstone Elementary School were caught in an act of […]

  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    retorts illustrated bryan stalder

    Northeast News October 19, 2016

    Missouri army camp trained celebrities

    Northeast News Camp Crowder in Neosho, originally established as an Army Signal Corps training camp, was made famous by a variety of celebrities who spent time there during World War..

    City moving forward with demolition of problematic Northeast property

    Northeast News October 13, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – One of the Historic Northeast’s most troublesome properties has been slated […]

  • [Advertisement.]