Gun suspect implicated in KC 3-year-old's unsolved murder

Stolen guns turning up at crime scenes nationwide

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The unsolved murder of a 3-year-old boy may have a new lead.

It comes following the arrest of 22-year-old Mickael Oliver on a federal gun charge.

In May 2017, 3-year-old Marcus Haislip III was riding in a car with his dad, Marcus Haislip, Junior, and uncle, Michael Haislip, near 54th Street and Park Avenue in Kansas City, Missouri, when an unknown shooter or shooters opened fire, riddling the car with bullets.

Both men were injured.

Marcus died.

His mother recently posted a heartfelt message on Facebook which says in part, "It's been six months and three days since I last hugged, blew a kiss and told my son Mommy loved him...the last day I heard Mommy I love you."

 

 

Screengrab from Facebook

"What do you tell another mother? All you can do is sit there and cry with her, hug her. There's nothing to tell her," said Aisha Coppage.

Coppage has a special bond with Marcus’s mother because she understands her pain.

In August 2016, an unknown gunman opened fire into Coppage's home killing her 8-year-old son Montel and his 9-year-old cousin Jayden.

At their new home, a blanket hangs on the wall with Montel's image on it.

There's also a picture of Montel on a table with a birthday balloon attached.

He would've turned 10 last month.

The picture shows Montel wearing his Halloween costume -- a police officer's uniform.

It's a costume Coppage said Montel loved and wore all the time.

Now she and her family are counting on the police to solve her son's murder.

"I don't think we should outlive our children," Coppage said. "But it's terrible."

Federal court records say 22-year-old Mickael Oliver is implicated in Marcus's murder, but he hasn't been charged with the crime.

Those same records show investigators found bullet shell casings outside Oliver's Park Avenue home after the boy's death.

In an effort to get more evidence to solve Marcus's murder, the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) sent a confidential source to buy weapons from Oliver.

Court records say after that source asked Oliver about the shooting, he admitted to the source he was there at the time with another unidentified man.

Oliver also told the source he personally knew Marcus and used to watch the boy.

Another source told the ATF Oliver and another unidentified man both opened fire on the car with Marcus inside.

Authorities arrested Oliver after the ATF source tried to buy some weapons from him, court records show.

But instead, Oliver took $1,700 from the source and then pointed one of those loaded weapons at them and told them to leave.

By that point, records say Oliver had already sold several guns to the ATF source, including stolen weapons.

"These guns move very quickly, so it can be a matter of days to sometimes 15 to 20 years later, these guns are still being recovered in crimes," said Kevin O'Keefe, ATF Operational Intelligence Chief.

 

Gun thefts on the rise

Stolen guns are a big problem nationwide.

The 41 Action News Investigators, along with more than a dozen NBC TV stations across the country, teamed up with the nonprofit journalism organization The Trace to identify the scope of the issue.

After getting more than 842,000 law enforcement records from across the country, the collaborative effort found stolen guns are routinely turning up at crime scenes by matching the make and serial numbers of stolen guns to guns recovered at crime scenes.

A review of that data found more than 23,000 matches of stolen guns to other crime scenes, even though some law enforcement agencies didn't provide information about the circumstances of recovering a stolen weapon.

The data is mostly from the year 2010 through 2015.

In our area, there are hundreds of reports of stolen guns being used in one or more crimes during that time.

Kansas City, Kansas had 7 cases.
Olathe had 150.
Topeka had 215.
And Kansas City, Missouri had 273.

 


Law enforcement data via The Trace and NBC News

 

"The numbers and the trends we're seeing indicate that this is not going away," O'Keefe said.

For example, court records say guns Oliver sold to the ATF source have been linked to 11 unsolved, non-injury shootings in the metro in just the last two years.  

And stolen guns are being sold right out in the open.

Court records show a gun that was sold at the Eastwood Trafficway McDonald's in KCMO had been stolen from a locked, parked vehicle at the Worlds of Fun amusement park.

Clockwise from top left: Michael Bradford, Richard Hampton, Mickael Oliver, and Isiah Clinton.

Isiah Clinton, 30, and Richard Hampton, 26, are accused of selling a stolen rifle to an ATF source at a car wash next to that same McDonald's. 

Court records say the rifle was stolen from a KCMO police officer.

Clinton and Hampton are both facing federal gun charges.

Michael Bradford, 33, is currently in federal prison after he sold stolen weapons to undercover law enforcement officers.

It was part of a nearly year-long ATF and Kansas City Police operation to address violent crime, illegal firearms trafficking, and drug trafficking in the metro.

Records show one of the guns Bradford sold to undercover officers was used in the October 2012 murder of David Lablance, 26, near 20th and Pennsylvania in KCMO.

Bradford sold that gun to undercover officers less than a week after the murder.

Lablance's mother declined to comment because five years later, it's still painful for her to discuss.

The toll for families and the community is high.

In her recent Facebook post, Marcus Haislip's mother also wrote, "Justice hasn't been served. We are approaching the holidays. My son should be here with his mommy, daddy, brother, sister."

It's a feeling Aisha Coppage fully understands.

Her son's murder hasn't been solved either.

"I would be lying to tell her that this would be okay," Coppage said. "Because it's not okay and it hasn't gotten easier."

ATF is offering up to a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction for Marcus’s murder.

Anyone with information is asked to call 888-ATF-TIPS. Tips can also be sent by e-mail at ATFTips@atf.gov or text ATFKC to 63975.

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