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11-year-old Boy Killed at Suspected Drug House

November 13, 1989

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ An 11-year-old boy was shot to death when he went to a suspected drug house with his sister to get her belongings, police said. A 14-year-old boy was arrested.

Police said they found Frederick Jones lying in the street after receiving a report of a shooting about 5 p.m. Saturday. The boy was taken to a hospital where he died about an hour later from a shot to the chest.

″There is no motive,″ said Sgt. Pete Edlund of the homicide unit.

″He knocked on the door, a guy said, ‘Who is it?’ then the door opened″ and a shot was fired.

Relatives of the boy said he and his 14-year-old sister, LaTrisha Weekly, went to the house where they lived until a month ago. LaTrisha said their mother’s former boyfriend lives at the house but was out of town.

LaTrisha said Sunday that the 14-year-old suspect let her in and she went upstairs to collect her clothes. Her brother followed her to the door.

Police refused to say if the shooting was drug-related, but members of the Ad Hoc Group Against Crime and neighbors said the house has a history of drug dealings.

Edlund said police recovered weapons at the house. He would not say whether a drug transaction was involved, but he said it is not unusual to see children in the drug trade.

″We see 8-, 9- and 10-year-olds running drugs and selling them in the street,″ he said.

The suspect will be referred to juvenile court, which will decide whether he should stand trial as an adult.

The killing came four days after voters in the Kansas City, Mo., area approved a quarter-cent increase in the sales tax to raise $98 million during the next seven years to fight the war on drugs. The measure passed 60 percent to 40 percent.

It also comes at a time when police are growing worried that a shortage of crack cocaine could spur violence in the city.

″Six weeks ago, when the big glut was on, some dope houses were selling two rocks for the price of one,″ said Sgt. Dan Mulloy of the street narcotics unit. ″The supply and demand situation went berserk. Everybody was dealing dope. Then all of a sudden, it was like boom. The door slammed.″

Although it is too early to know what is causing the shortage or how long it will last, it is creating new hazards in the already dangerous drug trade.

Undercover officers say they are facing increasingly hostile dealers strung out from their own drug habits and eager to protect their wares. One undercover detective was shot Nov. 2, and police worry that more shootings could follow.

Just as troubling is an increase in fake, or ″turkey,″ drugs made of soap, candle wax or pancake mix, which dealers are selling to addicts. Police fear the practice could lead to more violence when the deals go bad.

Authorities also say the shortage is pushing up the price of cocaine, which could lead to more drug-related crime as users struggle to finance their habit. An agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration in Kansas City said 1 kilogram of cocaine now sells for $25,000, up from $20,000 just a month ago.

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