Kansas City, Missouri, sees 'absurd number' of homicides

KCPD respond on Sunday to city's 171st homicide
Posted at 10:30 PM, Dec 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-13 23:55:42-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Though the pace of homicides and non-fatal shootings has slowed since the summer, Kansas City, Missouri, police said that’s “still not good enough.”

Speaking Sunday night at the scene of the city’s 171st homicide, KCPD Spokesperson Sgt. Jake Becchina said the city’s current number of homicides is more than the department ever considered.

“It’s an absurd number,” Becchina said as he addressed the media in the 6800 block of East 98th Terrace.

Before 2020, Kansas City’s deadliest year on record was in 1993 with 153 homicides. The city surpassed that number in October.

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KCPD’s clearance rate is more than 70%, which is above the national average, and represents justice for victims’ families, according to Becchina.

“It doesn't bring their loved one back, but that represents holding somebody responsible,” Becchina said. “It also represents somebody who hopefully, most likely, can't go on and do something like this again.”

RELATED: Kansas City's homicide rate among nation's worst

A majority of the city’s homicides stemmed from arguments, according to KCPD’s daily homicide analysis.

Rosilyn Temple, executive director of KC Mothers in Charge, also was at the scene of Sunday night’s fatal shooting, and said it’s “unbelievable” for the city to see this many homicides.

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“Our men and women and our children, we're losing them by the dozens,” Temple said, “and it's not OK.”

It will take a community effort to “push these perpetrators out of our homes,” according to Temple.

“[There’s] no way Kansas City should be at 171 homicides. This is outrageous,” she said. “The whole community should be outraged. Every time there's a homicide, everyone must come out their houses in these neighborhoods and make a stand so people can see that we've had enough.”

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 41 Action News Homicide Tracker, which was launched in 2015. Read the 41 Action News Mug Shot Policy.