Reporter killed in Kansas City

Police Tape

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A young public radio journalist has died after being struck by a stray bullet inside her Kansas City apartment.

Aviva Okeson-Haberman, 24, was struck by a bullet Friday afternoon while she was in her first-floor apartment, according to KCUR, where she worked.

Okeson-Haberman had been covering Missouri government and politics at the station where she had worked since 2019 after graduating from the University of Missouri. The native of Springfield, Missouri, had recently been planning to move to Lawrence, Kansas, for a new job covering criminal justice issues for the Kansas News Service.

After news of Okeson-Haberman’s death broke Sunday, many colleagues and public officials, including Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly and Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas, offered memories and condolences on Twitter.

“Aviva was a creative, thorough, challenging, and insightful reporter. Always prepared, she told the full and complex story of our city in one of the most challenging years in its history,” Lucas wrote. “Her death lays bare our gravest unsolved epidemic and the preventable tragedies too many families endure.”

Her coworkers praised Okeson-Haberman.

“Aviva was brilliant,” KCUR news director Lisa Rodriguez said in the station’s story. “Even as an intern, her approach to storytelling and her ability to hold those in power accountable paralleled many a veteran reporter.”

Kansas City police said officers went to an apartment in the city’s Santa Fe neighborhood Friday and found an individual with a gunshot wound. At that time, police said the victim was taken to a hospital with serious, life-threatening injuries.

A police spokesman said Sunday that authorities could not confirm the name of that victim because they were still on life support.