KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Police in Kansas City, Missouri, have arrested Ryson Ellis in connection to the June 29 death of 4-year-old LeGend M. Taliferro, who was fatally shot while he slept inside his father’s apartment.
Ellis, 22, faces charges of second-degree murder, unlawful use of a weapon and two counts of armed criminal action, KCTV reported.
Court records state that a woman was in the apartment at the time of the shooting and told responding officers she had a son with Ellis and that Ellis had assaulted her a few days before the shooting, the TV station reported.
Following that incident, which did not involve LeGend, the woman’s brothers, including LeGend’s father, confronted Ellis at his residence, where an altercation ensued during which Ellis was injured and his mother threatened the brothers with a gun, KSHB reported.
The woman also told investigators that she received threatening social media messages from Ellis after LeGend’s death.
A witness also told police that she drove the vehicle that Ellis exited the night of the shooting near the apartment. She states she heard gunshots before Ellis came running back to the car but did not know until later someone had been killed, KCTV reported.
Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas posted on Twitter after the charges were announced that “an important step towards justice has been taken.”
Since LeGend’s death, federal authorities have named an effort to crack down on violent offenders in the child’s memory. To date, several hundred federal officers have been dispatched to Kansas City and other U.S. cities plagued by violence as part of Operation LeGend, KSHB reported.