KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A black man suspected of fatally shooting five white men, all but one of them along south Kansas City hiking and biking trails, threatened three years ago to shoot up a school and “kill all white people,” according to court records.
A municipal court citation for harassment said Fredrick Demond Scott made the statement in January 2014 at an alternative school in Kansas City, The Kansas City Star reported. Prosecutors announced Tuesday that Scott, who’s 22, was charged in two killings and a suspect in three more.
Scott’s mother said in an interview with The Star that he refused to get treatment for his paranoid schizophrenia but did not show any hatred toward white people. Scott was cited in Kansas City municipal court in 2013 for assault on his mother, accused of shoving her several times.
“As far as I know Fredrick never had a problem with white people,” his mother said. “He would do odd jobs for people and some of those people were white men.”
Police said they did not know if the shootings were racially motivated. Scott told investigators he was upset about the 2015 stabbing death of his brother, according to police. Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker has said a motive wasn’t clear in the five killings.
A phone call to a public defender listed in online court documents was not immediately returned.
Scott is jailed in Jackson County on two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of armed criminal action in the deaths of Steven Gibbons, 57, and John Palmer, 54. Prosecutors said DNA evidence connected him to the victims.
Palmer was killed Aug. 19, 2016, in a wooded area near the Indian Creek trail, one of four deaths police connected in May because they were all near trails and the victims were middle-aged, white men. Prosecutors said Gibbons was shot in the back of the head as he walked along a south Kansas City street. His death had not been mentioned previously as related to four homicides along trails that were being investigated as possibly linked.
Scott said he shot the two victims, investigators said.
The other victims are Mike Darby, 61, who was found dead May 18 along Indian Creek Trail; David Lenox, 67, found killed Feb. 27 a few feet from his front door while walking one of his dogs; and Timothy S. Rice, 57, who was found dead April 4 inside a shelter at Minor Park. Baker said Tuesday that there wasn’t sufficient evidence at “this moment” to charge Scott in those cases.
Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com