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Friday, December 17, 2010
Gunmen stalk Denmon family funeral

By Eamonn Brennan

Last week, Marcus Denmon played big in Missouri's home win over Vanderbilt despite horrible circumstances. More specifically, Denmon was playing a day after his cousin, Marion Denmon III, had been shot and killed in Kansas City. The grief didn't affect his performance; Denmon made several key buckets down the stretch in regulation and overtime to help the Tigers to the nail-biter victory. But it was clear Denmon was playing with a heavy heart.

Denmon III's funeral was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon. Marcus Denmon and several members of the Missouri coaching staff were in attendance as violence erupted in the streets of Kansas City. According to the Kansas City Star, some really tough, awesome, community-minded people (read: idiots) decided to show up to Denmon III's funeral and open fire near the gathered mourners.  From the Star:
Outside Denmon’s funeral, witnesses said they saw two vehicles circle the block before the occupants opened fire in front of the church as funeral workers prepared to move the casket outside. At least one assault-type rifle was among the guns used, police said.

Police officials said they believe the shooters intended to disrupt the funeral and that the incident appeared connected to the shooting that killed Denmon. The gunmen may have been trying to shoot associates of Marion Denmon but the motive remains under investigation, police said. [...]

Police said some of the people standing in front of the church fired back at the gunmen in the vehicles. Some people from the church also chased the gunmen two and a half blocks away, where they exchanged gunfire near Wheatley Elementary School, 2415 Agnes Ave. Administrators placed Wheatley on lockdown, said Kansas City district spokeswoman Eileen Houston-Stewart. No one was injured and no shots hit the building, she said.

So not only did the shots throw the Denmon funeral into chaos, Denmon associates gave chase as a gun battle played out in front of a nearby elementary school.

No one gets a pass for shooting at anyone, of course ("they started it" is not a good excuse for firing a gun in range of a grade school). But shooting at a church on a funeral day? That's scum-of-the-earth-type stuff.