KANSAS CITY, Mon – The murder of 3-year-old Marcus Haislip III in 2017 has long awaited justice.
The Kansas City Police Department and the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Bureau needed resources to arrest the man they say was responsible for the child’s death.
Jackson County Attorney Jean Peters Baker announced Wednesday: “Although it has taken a long time, Derrick Wren (Jr.) is on charges of murder,” she said.
Man charged with the murder of 3-year-old boy from Kansas City in 2017
The 28-year-old has been accused of murdering the 3-year-old who was shot and killed in May 2017 while driving in a car with his father and uncle. The two adults were also shot but survived.
“That little guy paid a really high price with his life for something that there is no good explanation for why Marcus is not with us today,” said Peters Baker.
Court documents indicate that witnesses saw Wren fire several times at the victim’s car from the porch of a house on E. 54th Street and Park Avenue.
Haislip’s uncle saw the child was shot, his eyes rolled back in his head, and took the boy to the Research Medical Center for help. When they got to the hospital, it was too late and the child died in his car seat.
3-year-old boy from Kansas City killed when a gunman opened fire on a car
At the press conference on Wednesday, Peters Baker read a statement from Haislip’s mother: “Marcus was my third child, so darling. He loved his family. He loved music. His older brother and sister missed him every day, and my grandmother took it very hard. She brings him up daily. “
You could feel that pain in the voice of Marcus’ great-grandmother when she spoke to FOX4 under the protection of anonymity in 2017.
“I’m looking at my grandson in this coffin who is only 3 years old,” she called. “He was shot three times: in the head, in the arm and in the leg. It tore me apart. “
Peters Baker said the evidence against Wren includes testimony, ballistics, and DNA evidence, particularly DNA from a styrofoam cup found on the porch of the house that Wren allegedly shot from.
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A witness told investigators that Wren confessed to the murder and said, “Wren cried and said,” This shouldn’t be happening. “
FOX4 first uncovered Wren and was a suspect of the 3-year-old’s death in 2019. ATF and KCPD filed a case against Wren with prosecutors after a joint investigation, but at the time it was not charged.
Then, in December 2019, the child’s father, who then believed Wren had killed his son, allegedly took revenge and shot and killed Wren in a gas station on 37th and Broadway, and also injured a worker there. Marcus Haislip Jr. has been charged and is in custody for the crime.
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