Local Police Continue Hunt for Suspects Who Shot Five Children

Me'chelle 'Meme' Kinney and Ka'deon Kinney | Image by GoFundMe
Me'chelle 'Meme' Kinney and Ka'deon Kinney are recovering after being shot | Image by GoFundMe

Fort Worth police are hunting for the occupants of a vehicle used in a drive-by shooting last Wednesday that left six young people injured and a community in shock.

At least one or more suspects opened fire on a group congregated in front of a building at Miramar Apartments in the 3000 block of Las Vegas Trail. Fort Worth police have identified the suspect vehicle, as spokesperson Bradley Perez told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The case is still under investigation.

According to the Fort Worth Police Department, officers arrived at the scene of the shooting at 7:38 p.m. and, together with personnel from the Fort Worth Fire Department and MedStar, began tending to those injured. All but one — a 14-year-old whose right leg had been grazed by a bullet — were hospitalized.

The victims in this shooting were aged between 3 and 19 years old and sustained wounds of varying severity, as covered by The Dallas Express.

As recalled by Druscilla Rodriguez, whose children were shot that evening, the shooting came out of nowhere, turning a scene of laughter among neighbors into one of horror and chaos.

“I ran out to get my son, threw him to the ground, but he was already hit,” Rodriguez told NBC 5 DFW.

However, 6-year-old Ka’deon’s injuries — bullets to the femur bone and right leg — were less severe than those of his 3-year-old sister, Me’chelle.

“When I ran over to pick her up, when I lifted her, she just started gushing out blood from two different wounds,” Rodriguez remembered. “I thought that was the last time that I would see my baby’s eyes open.”

The shots fired from the vehicle struck the toddler’s liver and right kidney, puncturing a main blood vessel. She lost her kidney and remains in a coma in stable condition.

A GoFundMe has been set up for the family as they strive to cover medical bills and move somewhere safer.

“My kids are traumatized. They don’t want to go home. Some of my children don’t want to be outside, they’re scared to go outside and play,” Rodriguez said, according to NBC 5.

The shooting was shocking for at least two reasons: firstly, due to the victims being children, and secondly, due to the purportedly significant drop in violent crime in Fort Worth.

“Them kids ain’t do nothing to nobody,” Octavius Tucker, who lives next door to Rodriguez, said, per NBC 5. Still, he conceded that the area was known for its gang activity.

Speaking the day after the shooting, Fort Worth City Council Member Michael Crain referred to the incident as a “tragedy” but claimed it was “not in line with the overall trend of crime reduction in the area,” per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

“While crime has been high here, we’ve invested in the technology and the assets. And really in the neighborhood and the people,” Crain said, according to NBC 5. “Is there a lot more work to do? Absolutely.”

Citywide, Fort Worth has seen a drop in crimes against persons, with 53 logged in March 2023 compared to 32 in March 2024, according to data from the Fort Worth Police Department. For the first quarter of the year, robberies decreased by 12.4% year over year, while homicides have dropped by 55.6%. Gang-related investigations also fell by 57.8% over the same period.

Compared to Dallas, where an officer shortage has dampened efforts to curb crime, 6,263 crimes against persons were committed in the first quarter of 2024. Meanwhile, a more significant discrepancy can be seen between Downtown Dallas and Fort Worth’s city center, the latter of which is patrolled by a special neighborhood police unit and private security guards.

Fort Worth’s District 3, where the shooting took place, also ranks towards the bottom when it comes to violent crime offenses, with 323 crimes against persons clocked in the first quarter of 2024 compared to District 8’s 556 or District 11’s 462.

Yet the impression among Fort Worth community members is that crime remains a considerable problem, especially for the black residents of the city.

“Have you seen that it’s in impoverished communities where you’re having all of these mass shootings? But yet, we’re not doing anything to address the issues in the black community, and we’re not doing anything to reduce poverty. So if you’re not addressing the issues, the root cause of the issues, then you’re really just putting a Band-Aid on a much larger, much larger issue,” said Pastor Kyev Tatum, who held a prayer circle for the victims, per NBC 5.

Tatum called for community-led initiatives, such as his work with Fort Worth youth, to implement lasting change. He referred to City leaders’ relationships with black communities as “transactional” rather than “relational,” per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

“We don’t want crime in our community more than anyone else does,” he added.

As extensively covered by The Dallas Express, violent crime in Dallas disproportionately affects black and Hispanic communities. For instance, as of May 6, 48 of the 72 people murdered this year were black victims, and 19 were Hispanic.

The Fort Worth Police Department does not provide public-facing demographic data on the victims of violent crime.

Anyone with information about the recent drive-by on Las Vegas Trail is urged to call detectives at 817-392-4222.

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