KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) — A father of four was gunned down near an apartment complex known to the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department (KCPD) as a high crime area. His mother is speaking out about the May killing and calling for change.
“I can’t move on from a senseless murder that happened in a nuisance building,” Angelique Collins said.
Jackson County prosecutors charged Paul Wright in connection to the death of Collins’ son, Terylle Gorham, near the Swope Plaza Apartments on East 49th Street in May.
Gorham would have turned 32 years old earlier this month.
“My son was killed at 9 a.m. on a Tuesday morning,” Collins said. “They said he was going to the grocery store because he wanted to barbecue.”
Wright awaits trial, while Gorham leaves behind four children, including 10-month-old Aziel.
“The mother is also deceased, leaving the baby without parents,” Collins said. “So, I’m not going to let him go anywhere else. I have to take care of him.”
Collins has set her sights on why this happened and where.
KCPD said it does have directed patrol efforts in that area when possible. KCPD crime data shows two other murders steps from where Gorham died this year and more than 40 other calls for violent crimes.
“The guy just shot him,” witness Greg Hayne said. “It was a terrible thing that happened.”
Haynes, a resident, says he used to do security there, but new management let him go.
“[The complex] needs to be cleaned up,” Haynes said.
A search of city 311 calls there shows more than 30 in the last year, many to Healthy Homes. They are listed as resolved but include everything from residents saying they do not have hot water, gas, or more.
Haynes said he knows of people without heat and sewer problems currently.
None of it surprises Collins, who says her son was only here after some turmoil in his life. She said Gorham was getting on the right track.
“I want people to know that he was more than just a number,” Collins said. “His life had meaning.”