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Kansas City journalist dies after being struck by bullet in her home


A young radio journalist for a Kansas City public radio station died Sunday after suffering a gunshot wound in her apartment, apparently from a bullet that pierced a window, her station reported.

Aviva Okeson-Haberman, 24, was found in her first-floor apartment Friday afternoon, KCUR reported Sunday in announcing her death.

Kansas City police Capt. Dave Jackson said her death is being investigated as a homicide.

Okeson-Haberman was “an especially beloved friend and colleague just beginning what promised to be a brilliant career,” KCUR, Kansas City’s NPR station, said.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas and Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly were among those who expressed condolences.

“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 tweeted. “Her life showed us her compassion for those who too often were voiceless.”

“Her death lays bare our gravest unsolved epidemic and the preventable tragedies too many families endure,” he wrote.

Okeson-Haberman had interned at KCUR and joined the station in June 2019 as the Missouri politics and government reporter.

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

Okeson-Haberman was looking to move to Lawrence, Kansas, which is about 40 miles from downtown Kansas City, according to the station. She was transitioning into a new role covering social issues and criminal justice for the Kansas News Service, which is a reporting partnership.

A colleague who went to check on Okeson-Haberman got no answer and called authorities for a welfare check, and while waiting, she and some other women saw a bullet hole in the corner of a bedroom window and could see Okeson-Haberman wounded inside, the colleague said on air Monday.



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