A Kansas City man was arrested and charged with the deaths of two white men who were murdered by being shot from behind. He is also a suspect in three other, similar murders, police said.
Five murders were recorded near the same nature trails in Kansas City stretching back to August of last year. Four victims were assassinated with bullets to the back of the head, and one was shot in the back. But all were surprised from behind. In addition, all the victims were white men between 54 and 67 years of age, the Kansas City Star reported.
Police have been searching for the killer or killers for months without a break in the case, but police now say the killer broke his pattern and took his fifth victim by jumping off a city bus, shooting his victim from behind, then hopping right back on the bus.
Police announced the arrest of 22-year-old African American suspect Fredrick Demond Scott, whom they charged with the murder of 57-year-old Steven Gibbons, who was shot from behind on August 13 near the 1100 block of East 67th Street.
Police also charged Scott with the August 19, 2016, murder of 54-year-old John Palmer, the first victim in the series of assassinated men.
“They didn’t see it coming,” Scott allegedly told police during an interrogation.
Authorities have been stumped since the first killing last year because the victims were “very unusual” for their age and race and being completely unconnected to each other in any way other than being victims.
But police also suspect Scott in the deaths of two more victims – David Lenox, killed on February 27, and Tim Rice, found dead on April 4, and Mike Darcy, killed on May 18.
Police announced that their break came when surveillance video showed Scott on the same bus as the last victim. Police also say they linked Scott to the Gibbons murder with DNA evidence.
The bus murder was different from the other murders which were all committed along the Indian Creek Trail nature trail.
While officials suspect Scott in the murders of the other three assassinated men, they have thus far only linked him to two of the murders. But Scott was reportedly working at a Burger King near all the other murders, so he has a record of being nearby.
Scott also allegedly told police he often walked the trail as a short cut.
Police also say that Scott told them he has been angry about the 2015 shooting death of his brother, Gerrod H. Woods.
Thus far, police are not ready to assume that the Indian Creek Trail murders are solved, and the investigation continues.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.