Independence police identify 3-year-old killed on Christmas Eve

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Posted at 11:19 AM, Dec 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-27 12:19:02-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Independence police have identified the young child who died in a shooting incident on Christmas Eve.

Three-year-old Benjamin Cope Jr. was killed in the 500 block of South Glenwood Friday evening.

While initially reported as a drive-by shooting, investigators have since learned the child was handling the gun when it was discharged.

A person of interest is in custody out-of-state and awaiting extradition to be charged in Jackson County.

Police said that person was in the residence at the time the child was shot and fled before officers arrived.

The person of interest was also involved in a crash while fleeing the residence, and also fled the crash scene.

According to the Associated Press, the person of interest was arrested in Omaha, Nebraska.

Independence police say the suspect will be extradited to Jackson County.

For jurisdictions that utilize the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers Tips Hotline, anonymous tips can be made by calling 816-474-TIPS (8477), submitting the tip online or through the free mobile app at

Annual homicide details and data for the Kansas City area are available through the KSHB 41 News Homicide Tracker, which was launched in 2015. Read the KSHB 41 News Mug Shot Policy.