Kansas City, Missouri – A pregnant 19-year-old White woman has been taken off life support nearly a week after being critically wounded in a shooting that also injured four others at the Independence Center Mall on Friday, November 10.
Karla Brown, who was 20 weeks pregnant, was shopping in preparation for her baby according to a family friend when the group she was with encountered another group at the mall entrance.
MarkAnthony Greer, a 21-year-old Black man, has been charged with three counts of unlawful weapon use and three counts of armed criminal action by Jackson County prosecutors in connection with the shooting. Greer was being held in the Jackson County jail on a $250,000 cash-only bond. A public defender has yet to be assigned to him.
According to the probable cause statement submitted by an Independence detective, the group Brown was with encountered Greer who was accompanied by two others at the the mall entrance. A member of Greer’s group was in a previous relationship with one of Brown’s friends, who was currently romantically involved with Greer. The love triangle led to a verbal altercation and the subsequent shooting.
Surveillance footage showed Brown sitting on a bench in a breezeway 30 feet away from the scene of the argument when the shooting ensued. Authorities allege Brown was in Greer’s “direct line of fire” when he fired.
Court documents also reveal that Brown’s group abandoned her after the shooting, leaving the mall in the Ford Taurus they arrived in to drive to a nearby hospital for another member of the group who was shot in the leg. Officers stopped the vehicle and took the two other uninjured people, both armed, into custody for questioning. Witnesses identified Greer as the shooter.
The 19-year-old mother-to-be was taken to the hospital by first responders and placed on life support until her death. Her unborn baby she had planned to name Max lost his heartbeat a day after the shooting, according to a family friend. Brown’s family made the decision to donate her organs “so that she can live on through others,” according to the GoFundMe page set up by Ellison to ease the financial burden of taking care of her cremation, medical costs, and other expenses.
The Independence Center where the shooting took place is located about 10 miles east of Kansas City and has been the site of other violent crimes. Examples include an incident in 2018 where a 17-year-old was also fatally shot outside the mall. In October 2020, massive brawls involving as many as 300 minors followed up by another 500 teens two months later resulted in a curfew enactment for the area. In September 2022, gunshots were fired during an incident inside the mall with fortunately no injuries reported.
This latest shooting has reinforced the violent crime soaring around Kansas City’s second-largest mall, particularly for Independence Center resident Cheryl Fisher who said in an interview with FOX4:
“I know that security, they’ve done better with security, but it’s just tended to go downhill as far as ‘feeling safe’ to go in a public place with large groups of teenagers. We still unfortunately make mom and dad go or another adult go with him just for safety reasons and the fact of, if you get a lot of kids together, they don’t always make the best choices when there’s a bunch of teenagers around.”
Security at the Independence Center Mall is typically handled by a uniformed officer of the Independence Police Department (IPD). Because the department did not want to pay holiday overtime to cover the mall over the Veteran’s Day weekend, however, the mall didn’t have any police coverage, leaving some to question the overall efficiency of the IPD.
“If we were full (sic) staffed, we’d have two, but we’re running short,” said Independence Police spokesman Jack Taylor in an interview with FOX4. “Everybody is forced off because we don’t want to pay overtime for that, right, because that costs a lot more.”
“So we have to look at what’s the balance between providing the safety and then not over exceeding costs and things like that, so part of that, that’s generally why a lot of our staff is off on a holiday because we just don’t pay for everyone to be here,” he continued.
Once dubbed the “Paris of the Plains,” the historically rich area of Kansas City was a French settlement similar to other trading outposts along the river corridors of the Midwest, later becoming home to one of the largest clusters of Irish immigrants in the nation.
In 1940, the White population of Kansas City stood at 89.5% while the Black population hovered at 10.4%, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. Today, analysis from the Brookings Institute registered the White population at a teetering 52.8% with an encroaching Black population at 25.8% and Hispanics at 12%. More daunting is the racial breakdown of the youth which measures White at a dismal 39.6%. From 2000 to 2020, the Kansas City populace increased by approximately 14%, with the rise in the number of non-white residents between 2010 and 2020 comprising 92% of the city’s overall growth.
Additional data collected from both the U.S. Census Bureau and local crime statistics also revealed that Kansas City currently ranks eighth on the list of 30 U.S. cities with the highest homicide rate—6.17 homicide cases per capita—and is currently on pace to potentially exceed its worst year on record. A deeper insight into the racial breakdown of the city’s homicide rate this year is apparent in the Daily Homicide Analysis chart released by the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department where Black males are listed as 63% of suspects.
In the midst of violent crime overwhelming Missouri’s most populous city, one shooting in April of this year gripped national headlines in which a Black teenager, Ralph Yarl, was shot by 84-year-old White veteran Andrew Lester who believed Yarl was attempting to make unlawful entry into his home. Despite the self-defense shooting and Yarl’s speedy recovery, the full force of the disreputably anti-White justice system and mayor insist the shooting had a racial component.
A case that received comparatively less coverage and public attention was that of Fredrick Demond Scott, a 23-year-old Black man who was arrested in August 2017 and charged with the murder of six White people during a 12-month killing spree in Kansas City that began in August 2016. All of his victims were between the ages of 55 and 65. Court records quote the suspect as having said he wanted to “kill all white people,” and was cited for harassment in 2014 after remarking of his then-high school, “I want to shoot the school up, Columbine-style.”
In spite of this, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peter Baker stated she saw “no clear motive” for the shootings. After years of trials delays and three defense attorneys in four years, Scott was found incompetent to stand trial in June 2021, frustrating family members of the victims before another judge reversed this decision in a few months later in October after yet another reevaluation.
“I am kind of embarrassed, and I feel guilt because I’ve become numb to this,” Brian Darby, whose father, Mike Darby, was among Scott’s victims, stated. “But today was actually the day that I lost my patience, and I didn’t say anything. But it is time to get this on the road.”
Instances of White women becoming victimized by horrific acts of Black gun violence for petty and inane reasons have only multiplied in recent years. In January, a 16-year-old White girl was executed with a pistol after police say she refused to pick up a bag of marijuana off the floor for a Black suspect. In November, a White college student and talented musician in Nashville died after being shot in the head by a suspected Black career criminal who was firing at a nearby vehicle.
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