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Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016

Public must assist in investigation

Tuesday, September 18, 2001

Lost in the shuffle of national attention over the terrorists' attack are smaller tragedies closer to home. Ironic as it is, these regional stories obviously get lost in the national and international news these days. Under different circumstances, they would be the headlines. How I wish they still were.

An outbreak of violence Sunday night at a youth nightclub in Kansas City resulted in three dead and three injured from gunfire. The dead include Javon Littlejohn, 15; Isaac C. Ponds, 20; and George O. Johnson III, 18. Names of the injured have not been released.

As best as police can tell, a fistfight that started in the early morning hours at a convenience store escalated to gunfire. Two of the victims were dead outside the convenience store. The third victim was found in his car a short while later. Police suspect that an incident in the youth club spilled over to the convenience store next door. That incident ended on the parking lot with two dead. Seven minutes later police found the third victim.

Police however were stymied in their investigation because several apparent witnesses decline to provide information. As one officer said: "It's frustrating knowing that so many people saw what happened but were not coming forward to do the right thing. For crying out loud, three people are dead."

It will never rival the tragedy of this past week in New York and Washington. And given the current headlines, the story hardly rates much attention. But it should.

If we live - and are willing to fight and die - in a country where people are either indifferent, callous or scared to help police in a murder investigation, then something is tragically wrong. It gives you pause to realize the sacrifices being made in this great nation and then to read and witness such events as transpired in Kansas City Sunday night.

Perhaps good will prevail and someone will come forward. We can only hope and pray.

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