Monday, November 23, 2009

A Subscript to a Sad Double Murder

On Friday, November 20th, a 25 year old pregnant lady and her 19 year old boyfriend were sitting in the lady's car parked on Armour Boulevard, visiting together when they were both shot in the head by unknown assailants. The women died on the scene but her baby, just a few weeks from her due date, was rushed to the hospital. Unfortunately, the baby did not survive. Her boyfriend is still hospitalized with a serious head wound. In one of TKC's articles, buried in the comments section, was this comment. This comment makes it all too real:

Anonymous said...
Ok. First let me correct the simple mistake... Ashley was 25 not 19. Her boyfriend was 19. Secondly... it was a baby. Everyone here saw that baby moving like crazy fighting for oxygen in her stomach. Next, fetus vs baby shouldn't be the question. The question is why it took so damn long for police to arrive when we are only 3 blocks away? The ambulance lost precious time cuz KC's finest took forever to clear the scene. That baby could have made it. It was the procedure of our police department that cost that child's life. And to be a witness to such pisses me off!
11/21/2009 08:27:00 PM

This commenter is a direct witness. He/she may be a MAST medic/EMT or a firefighter. I couldn't be sure. Before I go further, let me explain the remark about the delay of the ambulance. If a call comes into 911, and there is uncertainty about the safety of the scene due to the nature of the call (i.e. the call is a reported shooting, assault, or drug/alcohol related), the fire department and MAST will "stage"; that is, they will park some distance away after arriving in the general neighborhood of the call, and wait for the police department to "clear the scene"; that is, to make sure that any shooting, assaulting etc has stopped. For Kansas City, this became a very real issue after the incident on Grandview Road in 2004, in which a paramedic was shot. Because both our fire department and our ambulance service take pride in and pains to have excellent response times, usually they have to wait on the police department to get there first. It is well known that the police department is often "blacked out"; that is, there are no police cars immediately available to respond to an emergency call (or there is one available, but it's a long way away, common in North, Shoal Creek and South zones.) This leaves KCFD and MAST waiting for a bit before they can enter the scene. From the comment, it's hard to tell if the police were delayed to the scene, or once there, took too much time before they allowed the medical help in to see the patients. Procedure can be influenced by staffing levels. It's hard to tell. I hope the PD takes the time to look at what happened and see if they can do it better next time.

For another first person account of the first responder's view, read this post by our friend Capt. Schmoe.

The shooting victims are killed 25 year old Ashley Thomas and her unborn child who was to be named Amya. Her boyfriend Darrel Pickens is still in critical condition at a local hospital with a gunshot wound to the head. Good news is that today a man was arrested and charged in connection with this crime. So here are some news links:

The Kansas City Star: Pregnant woman and fetus killed... (No, I am not commenting on the headline beyond saying that "unborn child" would have been a much less politically volatile way of phrasing it.)

KCTV5: Mother reeling after daughter, unborn child shot

KMBC: Man Charged in Slaying... Good on the witness for coming forward.

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