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Woman charged with murder in September homicide of KCK church volunteer

mark dupree lillian jackson press conference
Posted at 1:04 PM, Nov 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-15 14:04:03-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A woman has been charged with the murder of a church volunteer in Kansas City, Kansas.

Lillian Jackson was on her way home from Mount Zion Baptist Church on Sept. 18 when she was caught in the crossfire of a rolling gun battle near Richmond Avenue and North 3rd Street.

She was on the phone with her daughter as she was shot and killed.

Monday, the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department and Wyandotte County District Attorney Mark Dupree gathered to announce charges against Melanie Perry in the homicide.

Perry, 29, is charged with first-degree murder and the criminal discharge of a firearm at a motor vehicle.

She faces other unrelated charges, too, and has been in the Wyandotte County jail since Oct. 20.

KCKPD Police Chief Karl Oakman said that for nearly two weeks after the shooting, his department received no leads from the community.

A detective on the case said there was little evidence to work off in the case and the department needed people who knew something to come forward.

After issuing a plea for help on Sept. 30, Oakman said KCKPD received one tip with information that led to Perry’s arrest.

He emphasized the arrest and charges wouldn’t have been possible without the community’s assistance.

“The police cannot do this alone. The community cannot do this alone. But when the community and the police come together, we can make this community a lot safer. I just want to personally thank on behalf of the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department, thank the community for assisting us with this homicide,” Oakman said.

Dupree echoed Oakman’s thoughts, adding that no agency operates alone or without its community.

“All of us live here, and all of us are raising our family here, and we all need your help to make this happen, and the police department continues to need your help,” Dupree said.

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 P3Tips.com.

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.