Last year Kansas City, Kan. saw 33 lives taken by homicide. While that number pales in comparison to the numbers of Kansas City, Missouri just across the river, it still rocks the community.
On Monday, a local organization held its 20th annual candlelight memorial to make sure the community does not fail to remember those who have been killed in the city’s violence crisis.
Friends of Yates brought together friends and family members of those victims to Forest Grove Baptist Church in Kansas City, Kansas.
It’s not a happy anniversary, but a necessary one to support grieving families the organizers said.
Carolyn Marks lost her son Ronald “RJ” Marks Jr. in November. He was shot before her eyes at their home.
“Even though it’s just been five months since my baby — he was my youngest, he was only 23. With him being gone it’s kind of like out of sight, out of mind with friends and people you thought cared,” Marks told KSHB 41 News.
Marks Jr. was one of of those murdered.
The Rev. Dr. Desmond Lamb said the event is about support more than anything.
“The support allows us to be a community again, not just a neighborhood,” Lamb said.
“We are all here for one cause, to come together, love each other and try our best to make a difference. One voice is one thing, but a lot of voices is a big difference,” Marks said.
Among the victims remembered at Monday’s service were Wyandotte County deputies Theresa “T.K.” King and Patrick Rohrer, who were killed in the line of duty last June.
Members from the Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Office, district attorney’s office and the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department were on a panel to talk about ways to decrease violence.
–KSHB wire service and Metro Voice