Unified front is needed to steer area youths from violent crimes

Kansas City police have identified almost 200 young people who are connected to groups associated with crimes such as shootings, armed assaults, robberies and weapons trafficking. About half of the teenagers are 16 and younger, and a few are as young as 13.

Young suspects have been charged in two of the Kansas City region’s most violent and high-profile crimes so far this year.

The four men accused of killing Shawnee gun shop owner Jon Bieker Jan. 9 in a robbery gone bad range in age from 18 to 20. Three lived in Kansas City and one in Raytown.

Three other teenagers, a 17-year-old and two18-year-olds from Kansas City, face murder charges in the death of 14-year-old Alexis Kane. She was beaten, shot and abandoned at a south Kansas City water park on Jan. 11.

Read the KC Star article.