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KCMO 39th Street corridor marred by weekend violence

39th and Paseo shooting.jpg
Posted at 4:52 PM, Jul 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-08 18:39:03-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City, Missouri, police on Monday continued to investigate three violent incidents that occurred on a stretch of 39th Street over the holiday weekend.

What some residents in the area initially believed to be firecrackers turned out in two cases to be deadly gunfire.

The streak of violence began Saturday morning at the River Park Townhomes near 39th Street and Topping Avenue. Police found 30-year-old Gregory Payton Jr. dead inside a car.

One resident who spoke with police said detectives did not believe Payton lived at the complex.

“(The detective) thinks it was a meeting point for something that went wrong," Ira Crockett told 41 Action News.

Crockett, a lifelong resident of the area, said that after learning of Saturday’s homicide, he’s making sure his daughters stay vigilant.

"It’s nowhere safe for them anywhere. Now I have to put my daughter on more restrictions, not to go down that hill,” Crockett said. “She’s already on enough restrictions where I don’t want her to go down the street.”

Residents one mile away, at 39th Street and Myrtle Avenue, were also leery after violence over the weekend. Shortly before 1 a.m. Sunday morning, gunfire struck and killed Ki'essence Pelton, who turned 25 this past week.

"I don’t know if it was a drive-by or if was meant for one of these other houses and it hit the lady," resident Robin Hughes said of the deadly shooting.

Hughes said that violence has become so prevalent in the area that he hesitates to leave his home after dark.

"It’s getting worse and worse by the year," Hughes said. "It’s scary. I don’t go out at night at all."

Keith Kelly helped his friends escape the bullets, which cut through a trailer and shattered the front door to a barber shop.

"Kansas City, I don’t know what to say about these people," Kelly said. "You got all these youngsters carrying all these semi-automatic weapons."

Later on Sunday, gunfire wounded a man at 39th Street and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

"It’s really getting bad out there. Nobody have (sic) no more compassion for life, and it’s just sad," Crockett said.

The Kansas City Police Department has not released a description of the suspects in any of the three incidents.

Anyone who saw anything or has information on these cases should call the KCPD Homicide Unit at 816-234-5043 or the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS. There is a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the homicides.