Around 2:30 a.m. Sunday, Honystye Chancellor’s phone started blowing up with calls from close family and friends.
She couldn’t pick up one call without getting two more.
They said her stepfather, 41-year-old Jason McConnell, had been shot while working security at the Klymax Lounge at 4242 Indiana Ave.
Chancellor rushed to the scene, where crowds of police and clubgoers swarmed the area. She parked a few blocks away and ran to Klymax.
From clubgoers, Chancellor learned that her stepfather, who was working at the door that night, was one of three people killed in a shooting that also left two other people injured.
People in the crowd told her that local rapper Nutty Still Gassin’ had finished performing and was leaving the club when the shooting broke out.
Kansas City police have not identified any of the victims in the shooting. But people at the club knew McConnell because he was friendly and could talk to anyone, Chancellor said.
He was a jack of all trades who had multiple jobs around the area, including working security at Klymax, serving at a Waffle House and managing a Cricket Wireless store, she said.
It was unclear Sunday morning what led to the shooting at the nightclub.
Officer Donna Drake, a spokeswoman for the Kansas City Police Department, said officers responded around 1:25 a.m. to a shooting at the night club.
Two people were pronounced dead at the scene and another was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the hospital. Two other people were injured in the shooting. One of them was in critical condition in the hospital and the other remained stable.
By some definitions, the shooting could be considered a mass shooting.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, an incident in which at least four people are injured or killed besides the shooter can be considered a mass shooting. Other organizations, like Everytown for Gun Safety, say that if at least four people other than the shooter are fatally shot, the incident is a mass shooting.
A father with a love for sneakers
When she got home, Chancellor said she told her 15-year-old brother, who is also McConnell’s son, what happened. She was not sure if he understood that his father was gone or if he was too tired to process the news.
For the rest of the night, Chancellor, her brother and their mom curled up together in bed.
McConnell had become a father figure for Chancellor at an early age. As a father, she said, he was “good and nice and always trying to keep us on the right path.”
Chancellor got in fights often as a kid, and McConnell always told her she needed to stop and that there was more to life than violence. At some point, he had Chancellor’s name tattooed on his body.
A sneakerhead, McConnell shared a love for shoes with his kids. They entered raffles together and searched for other ways to get the newest pairs.
McConnell likely owned well over 100 pairs of shoes, Chancellor said, which included sneakers and custom cowboy boots. He loved fashion and dressing well and could also be found in a cowboy hat listening to country music.
She had seen him earlier in the week, and they planned to meet up again this weekend. Now, her family is working on getting answers and reaching out to detectives involved in the case.
Detectives and investigators were processing the scene for evidence Sunday and searching for potential witnesses.
Ten gunshots, then five more
A woman who lives near the nightclub, and who asked not to be named in this story to protect her safety, said she woke up overnight to a series of about 10 gunshots.
There was a pause, she said, and then she heard another five shots.
Outside, she saw a young woman’s body right outside the club doors and people stepping over her to exit.
Two more bodies lay at a nearby street lamp. She watched emergency medical crews bring another body down on a stretcher from a nearby hill.
“It’s really sad,” she said. “It’s something that’s continuously going on.”
Including the nightclub shooting, there have been 65 homicides in Kansas City so far this year, according to data tracked by The Star, which includes fatal police shootings. There had been 63 killings at this time last year.
Police ask anyone with information to call detectives at 816-234-5043 or the anonymous TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477. A reward of up to $25,000 is available for information leading to an arrest in this case.