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11:17 AM

KSHB 41: Caught in the crossfire, Juvenile gunshot victims on the rise in Kansas City

By Caitlin Knute

As Kansas City continues to add to a record-breaking year of homicides, some of our youngest and most vulnerable are among the rising numbers.

While the death of 4-year-old LeGend Taliferro garnered widespread media attention, there are other cases involving children that didn't generate as many headlines.

By the end of July, Children's Mercy Hospital had treated 44 kids for gunshot wounds already this year.

It's a tragic trend being seen in the emergency room, too.

"Similar to the homicides in Kansas City, and similar to what our colleagues are seeing with adult patients across the metro, we are well ahead of our number of gunshot wounds, non-fatal gunshot wounds, compared to last year," Dr. Denise Dowd, an emergency room physician at Children's Mercy Hospital, said.

During the first six months of 2019, Children's Mercy treated 22 children for gunshot wounds. There have been 38 so far in 2020, an increase of more than 72% from last year.

"In large part, those are not kids getting into guns," Dowd said of the increase. "Those are kids that are getting caught in the crossfire."

"Even if the child recovers physically, there's a lasting emotional and psychological impact on those kids and the members of their families," Dowd said.


Read the full story via KSHB 41

Learn more about Emergency Services at Children's Mercy