Police ID victims in double homicide at Hawthorne Place Apartments

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- A shooting at the Hawthorne Place Apartments early Saturday morning left two young men dead, police confirmed.

Independence police identified the victims as Ernesto Delahoz, 20, and Bradley Sartain II, 18, both from Independence.

Police were called to the 600 block of N. Pect Court around 12:30 a.m. Saturday.

When officers arrived, they found one person had been shot and killed outside in the grass, and a second body was found inside an apartment.

The police tape and sirens have become a common sight according to neighbors who desperately want change.

"I have kids, and it is too close. This is the second time it's hit close to my home," said Zaneta Horne, referring to the September homicide of Eliud Lisbon. "You see these people go in and out every day, and the next thing you know, dang, what happened."

Horne says she is ready to move, an opinion shared by her boyfriend Dijon Strickland.

Strickland and other neighbors say there are constant police patrols, and they see officers parked at the leasing office. Still, the problem of violence has not gone away.

Some are calling for a neighborhood watch group after a close call last weekend.

On Friday, one woman said a man she did not know pounded on her door and windows for five to ten minutes.

On Saturday, another woman said someone called for help and her husband went to the door. When he opened it, two men were pointing a shotgun in his face. She said he was able to fight them off, but he was hit by the gun.

They hope anyone who sees anything suspicious will call police.

Strickland says she is fed up with the violence, and would like to see a safer community for children like Horne's son.

"If I see somebody with a gun," said Strickland, "and they are about to shoot somebody, why not call the police?"

"I don't even want them outside half of the time because of the stuff. I try to give them leeway, but as much as [there is] going on, I don't think they need to be outside," said Horne.

The investigation was ongoing. Anyone with information about this shooting is asked to call the TIPS hotline at (816) 474-TIPS, or email leads@indepmo.org.

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