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Federal government to help combat violent crime in KC

The Associated Press

The federal government is stepping up to stop violent crime in Kansas City, Missouri, with a program named after a 4-year-old boy who was killed when someone shot into his home.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Wednesday that the new program, "Operation Legend," which is named after 4-year-old LeGend Taliferro, is aimed at reducing the violence that is plaguing the city.

Kansas City was reporting 99 homicides as of Wednesday. With nearly half a year left, that puts the city on track to far exceed last year's total of 150.

Attorney General William Barr has directed agents from the FBI, U.S. Marshal Service, Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to help local law enforcement. McEnany said they will be on the ground in the next 10 days.

In a news release, Barr described the death of LeGend, who was fatally shot in his bed last month, as "a horrifying reminder that violent crime left unchecked is a threat to us all and cannot be allowed to continue."

McEnany noted that Tallifero survived a heart surgery as an infant before he "tragically lost his life."

"We at the federal government want to make sure that never happens and use our resources to the fullest extent of the law to ensure individuals and young children like LeGend are able to live their lives and live so peacefully," she said.

Taliferro is not the first child shot this year while sleeping in his bedroom in Kansas City. In February, an 11-year-old girl was critically injured by gunfire and police found her covered in blood in the bedroom of her south Kansas City home.