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Security guard, 20, shot to death in car 30 minutes before end of shift

Posted: 11:32 AM, Dec 16, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-17 15:49:29Z
Lee and Lorrie McNowelly
Lee McNowelly

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An Independence man was found dead in a car Sunday morning in southeast Kansas City, Missouri.

Lee McNowelly, 20, has been working as a security guard since March. On Sunday he was manning the overnight shift at an industrial area in the 8700 block of Elmwood Ave. That's where he was found shot to death in his vehicle.

The security job wasn't supposed to be permanent.

McNowelly planned to leave the gig behind next year and go to trade school. He was ready to start a family with his wife, Lorrie.

They were young, in love and about to celebrate their third wedding anniversary. The two were so committed to being partners in the marriage that they even combined their last names to make a hybrid, McNowelly.

"They say you just know, and he was just — he was perfect," Lorrie said.

McNowelly's shift Sunday was supposed to be over at 6 a.m.

Instead, Kansas City, Missouri, police officers responding to an ambulance call found McNowelly dead from an apparent gunshot wound inside a black Nissan in the parking lot around 5:30 a.m.

"What kind of world are we living in where we can't even be at work and not have to worry about being shot?" McNowelly's mother, Christina Nowell, said.

Police have no motive for the killing and urge anyone with information about McNowelly's death to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).

"I just want to know why," McNowelly's uncle, Joe Mount, said through tears. "I just want to look you in the eye one day and ask you why. Just give me the reason you took him from us."

Lorrie added, "That man who was taken from us meant so much to everybody that he allowed in his life."

The family has asked for donations to be made in Lee's name at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Independence.