KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Some Kansas City, Kan., residents see a recent killing spurt that claimed nine lives as just the latest wave of violence for the city.
But police say violent crime has actually been steadily declining and that the slayings are not a true picture of overall crime in the community of 142,000.
The recent killings happened over a week's time. They started with four people shot at a home June 22, including a 3-year-old girl whose body was in the front yard.
A 7-year-old girl was killed four days later in another shooting, and the death toll continued to build from there.
With the nine killings, the city is now at 22 homicides in 2009, compared to just 14 killings this time last year.
City leaders say public safety is an ongoing concern that they will continue to make a priority.