Header Ads

Man, 22, is charged with murdering sleeping four-year-old LeGend Taliferro by 'shooting blindly into a Missouri apartment' in slaying that inspired Trump to set up a task force to combat the surge in violent crime

A man has been charged in the shooting death of a four-year-old Kansas City, Missouri, boy whose killing sparked a federal anti-crime task force that has sent hundreds of federal agents to several cities to fight violent crime.
Ryson Ellis, 22, of Kansas City, was charged Thursday with second-degree murder, unlawful use of a weapon and two counts of armed criminal action in the death of LeGend Taliferro, who was struck by a bullet June 29 while he slept on the floor of his father's apartment.
Ellis allegedly shot blindly into the back of the Citadel Apartments unit where the boy's father, Raphael Taliferro, lives and had taken in his sister who has a child with the suspect.

She alleged he had hit her in the head a few days before the shooting and some of her brothers, including LeGend's father, had an altercation with Ellis, KSHB-TV reported.   
Ryson Ellis, 22, of Kansas City, was charged Thursday with second-degree murder, unlawful use of a weapon and two counts of armed criminal action
LeGend Taliferro, four, was struck by a bullet June 29 while he slept on the floor of his father's apartment in Missouri
Ryson Ellis, 22, of Kansas City, was charged Thursday with second-degree murder, unlawful use of a weapon and two counts of armed criminal action. LeGend Taliferro, four, was struck by a bullet June 29 while he slept on the floor of his father's apartment in Missouri
President Donald Trump holds a photo of LeGend Taliferro as he speaks at a news conference in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House, Thursday
President Donald Trump holds a photo of LeGend Taliferro as he speaks at a news conference in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House, Thursday
Ellis' mother also allegedly threatened them with a gun so she grabbed their child and left to stay with her brother and the four-year-old.
Ellis allegedly was driven to the home by a female friend on the night of the killing after going to a club. That woman said she sped off as soon as she heard gunshots.
Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters-Baker said Ellis was 'cowardly' when he fired several shots into the apartment where LeGend was thought to be safe. 
She said investigators ran into several dead-ends until a community member came forward with important information. The mother of Ellis' child provided them with social media information.
Ellis was arrested Thursday in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and was being held on no bond, Peters-Baker said.
Federal authorities named the anti-crime task force Operation LeGend in the boy's memory. 
Under the program, which is being overseen by the U.S. Department of Justice, federal agents have been sent to cities with high crime rates to work with local law enforcement to investigate violent crimes.
President Trump met with LeGend's family - including his mother, Charron Powell - when the program was announced. 
The operation has since expanded to several cities, including Chicago, St. Louis and Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The charges were announced at a press conference with the child's parents on Thursday
The charges were announced at a press conference with the child's parents on Thursday
United States Attorney General William P. Barr poses for a photo in the East Room with the family of LeGend Taliferro following remarks from President Trump on 'Operation Legend: Combatting Violent Crime in American Cities' at the White House on July 22
United States Attorney General William P. Barr poses for a photo in the East Room with the family of LeGend Taliferro following remarks from President Trump on 'Operation Legend: Combatting Violent Crime in American Cities' at the White House on July 22
LeGend Taliferro's father Raphael Taliferro listens during an event while wearing a face mask with his son's images
LeGend Taliferro's father Raphael Taliferro listens during an event while wearing a face mask with his son's images
A portrait of first lady Martha Washington over looks a display of seeking information posters for Vernado Jones Jr., Legend Taliferro and Jacqueline Vigil last month
A portrait of first lady Martha Washington over looks a display of seeking information posters for Vernado Jones Jr., Legend Taliferro and Jacqueline Vigil last month
Powell, LeGend's mother, said at the news conference she was 'grateful that we are in the steps to justice,' but also expressed sadness for her son's alleged killer and the violence in Kansas City.
'This is a lose situation, for my family, and including his,' Powell said of Ellis. 'We have to take it a step farther and calm the violence down.'
U.S. Attorney Tim Garrison said the case was 'precisely the type of case that this operation was designed to solve and we are very pleased that his case is one step closer to bringing justice to little LeGend and his family.'
He said Operation LeGend has resulted in more than 200 arrests since it began in Kansas City, including 16 people suspected of participating in homicides.
Attorney General William Barr said in a statement Thursday the arrest in LeGend's case resulted from cooperation between Kansas City police and several federal agencies.
'This development is a model for joint efforts to solve crimes and reduce violence in other cities,' Barr said. 
'I thank the state and local law enforcement officers who helped make possible this important step in bringing justice to LeGend, to his family, and to his community.'

No comments