KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Violence has overwhelmed the city, police and victims’ families, as there have been eight homicides in Kansas City just this last week alone.
“This is definitely a trying time for the entire city,” said Melesa Johnson, director of public safety for Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas.
Mary Stivers is looking for answers for the death of her daughter, Elizabeth Stivers, 31, who was killed on Tuesday.
“I just want my baby back,” Stivers said. “Liz was an outgoing young adult who cared about dogs more than anybody...I just can’t believe she’s gone,” she said.
Laketha Lee is also looking for answers too, as her daughter, Tianna Tisdale was killed in her home Monday night.
“She was shot in the back of the head,” Lee said. “I just want to know why. I can’t even explain how heavy I feel it’s a different type of pain...She was a hard worker and she always cared for everybody, especially her son, they adored each other.'
Many groups in Kansas City are working hard to curb the violence and help those impacted. One of those include Partners for Peace.
Partners for Peace includes KCPD, Jackson County and KCMO city leaders, and more than a dozen social service providers.
Previously, after an act of violence, they would connect services to victims’ families and those who were non-fatally injured.
However, due to the recent rise of homicides, Johnson, who is also a part of Partners for Peace, says they’re now switching up their tactic.
“We are shifting focus to get those same services to the actual crime drivers, people who are embattled in a life of crime,” Johnson said. “So what does it look like? If we give a young man a livable wage job and a promising road ahead so he can provide for his family instead of resorting to less than legal means.”
Johnson says she hopes the city doesn’t feel a week like this one again.
“The moment we lose hope that is when we lose the battle. We don’t have the luxury as Kansas Citians to lose it, it’s the only option,” she said.