Kansas City Gay Man Shot After Clubbing In What Many Call A Homophobic Attack
Police are still investigating the murder of Kansas City resident Ta’Ron Carson.
24-year-old Carson, whose friends also called him Rio, left club Aura early Sunday morning on March 4. As he sat at a bench on the corner of 39th and Main, Carson was shot by two people in a black SUV.
Brittany Bronson, a friend of Carson told Kansas City Fox News that she saw his final moments. The two had split up after exiting the club, and Bronson got inside her car. She then heard gunshots, turned around, and saw her friend on the ground.
“I saw my boy, I sa Ta’Ron, I saw Rio, I saw my boo,” Bronson struggled to say. “I saw him on the ground, like, I saw him. I saw him go.” [sic]
In the wake of his death, Carson's friends and community members have nothing but good words to say about the man.
“In gay vernacular, particularly in black gay vernacular, there is a term called "beating your face" and so Rio would always be beat for the gods,” said friend D. Rashaan Gilmore. “That is just powder, pad, getting your face together, because he was beautiful.”
"The beauty of Rio is that because of how he lived his life,” added Gilmore, “It helped to free others to live their lives in that way.”
Bronson also added that Rio’s love for himself helped him take care of others, “Rio, he loved himself, and in loving yourself you are able to love so many more people.”
It seems that’s increasingly true when it came to the people Rio chose to surround himself with.
The associate at Chipotle Mexican Grill and makeup artist at Sephora was known for his crazy home life. He had invited a diverse group of people to live with him either temporarily or permanently to the point that one friend called his house a circus.
All of this love in and around Carson was shown again on March 8th when more than a 100 people showed up for the candlelight vigil celebrating his life and mourning his death.
As the Kansas City Star reports, 100 people sat in the Center for Spiritual Living at 1014 W 39th Street, and more stood by the front doors as Carson’s parents spoke.
"Who you love is nobody's damn business, as long as they love you," said the father. He added that what was important is that you treat people right. "And he did that."
From there, the group then walked over to the spot where Carson was shot.
"This is a show of love and solidarity that I think Rio would be proud of," Gilmore said. "You have a responsibility when you walk out of these doors. The responsibility is to remain vigilant. We're going to stay on top of the police department. There will be no sweeping under the rug, no cold-casing this one."
Gilmore also added that the community would keep a watchful eye over the court case to see that justice is served.
Unfortunately, however, no culprit has been found yet.
While many believe Carson’s murder is a hate crime, police announced that they think he wasn’t the intended target of the attack. Instead, he’s the victim of mistaken identity.
On top of that, they’ve announced that the vehicle investigators were looking for is no longer being sought.
If you have any useful information that could help catch Rio’s killers, call the TIPS hotline at (816) 474-TIPS. All calls are anonymous.