Was murder of Aviva Okeson-Haberman a case of mistaken identity?

Two weeks in the past, Aviva Okeson-Haberman, a younger public radio reporter, was mendacity in mattress in Kansas City, Mo., studying a ebook, her cat Francine close by, when somebody fired a gun exterior her first-floor window. The bullet pierced her head.

Okeson-Haberman, 24, was pronounced lifeless April 23 after her boss at KCUR went to examine on her the following day and located her unconscious. Her demise made national and international headlines, most of which mentioned Haberman was the sufferer of a “stray bullet” in a “random shooting.”

Police now say the crusading journalist’s murder wasn’t random — though they haven’t named suspects or described a motive.

But a neighbor has come ahead to inform police she believes the bullet was meant for her — and the assassin received the residences combined up.

Sadi Sumpter, 26, mentioned she despatched Aviva’s mother, Sarah Okeson, who can also be a reporter, a Facebook message final week suggesting the capturing was deliberate — however not meant for her daughter. Sumpter mentioned she additionally informed Okeson-Haberman’s boss at KCUR and her former journalism professor. Okeson confirmed to the Post that she had acquired the message.

Alphonso T. Davis
Alphonso T. Davis
Missouri Department Of Correctio

“It was intentional,” Sumpter informed The Post. “Me and Aviva lived directly across from each other. I used to sit in the same place in my apartment that Aviva was sitting when she got shot. I told the police in March someone was going to die.”

Sumpter mentioned she informed police she feared an ex-boyfriend who had not too long ago gotten out of jail and tried to interrupt into her residence on March 21.

Sumpter mentioned the ex-beau climbed via her kitchen window and threatened her. Sumpter wouldn’t say why he was offended. She mentioned she known as 911. Kansas City police confirmed that Sumpter reported an assault on March 21 and courtroom data present that the ex was arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault on that date.

Sumpter was so scared that she requested her landlord if she might terminate her lease, she mentioned.

Sumpter mentioned she moved into the residence in January. She didn’t know Aviva effectively, however they mentioned hiya as their doorways opened throughout from one another.

“I used to see her with her backpack. She didn’t really speak much, she’d said hi and go about her business,” Sumpter mentioned.

Aviva Okeson-Haberman
Aviva Okeson-Haberman
Brandon Parigo / Missouri School

Sumpter mentioned somebody broke her home windows on April 2 and he or she was so frightened she left the residence, coming again solely often to choose up issues she’d left. She described her ex as a drug supplier and convicted felon. He is listed as being on parole or probation with the Missouri Department of Corrections for possession and supply of a managed substance. His parole officer wouldn’t touch upon his case.

Sumpter mentioned she thinks the deadly capturing of Okeson-Haberman might have been a botched hit meant for her, someway organized by her ex after he went again to jail.

“His baby mama was threatening me all the time and telling me to come out and fight her,” Sumpter mentioned. “Somebody put sugar in my [gas] tank and cut my tires. I have thousands of messages of harassment.”

Kansas City Police Sgt. Jake Becchina wouldn’t touch upon Sumpter or her allegations particularly, however informed The Post that “I can confirm that detectives are talking to all people that have come forward that may have information. They are also evaluating all the evidence.”

Okeson-Haberman had been reporting on Missouri authorities and politics for KCUR whereas residing within the Santa Fe part of Kansas City, which is named “Killa City,” as a result of of the excessive murder price. She was planning a transfer to Lawrence, Kansas, for a new gig protecting felony justice points for the Kansas News Service on the time of her demise.

Despite a typically troublesome life — she had gone into the foster care system for awhile as a teenager — Okeson-Haberman went on to graduate from the highly-regarded Missouri School of Journalism in 2019. Her investigation of Missouri’s elder abuse hotline prompted an investigation by the Attorney General and led to statewide coverage modifications to right deficiencies that resulted in additional than half of all calls going unanswered.

Haberman’s mom is a journalist, as is her uncle Bret Okeson, who works for Bloomberg News in Tokyo.

Aviva Okeson-Haberman (center) was killed by a stray bullet in her home at the end of April.
Aviva Okeson-Haberman (middle) had been reporting on Missouri authorities for KCUR whereas residing within the Santa Fe part of Kansas City.

But whereas her reporting was revered and he or she was seen as a powerful journalist with a promising future, Aviva led a quiet life, didn’t have a boyfriend and didn’t have any recognized enemies, a shut pal informed The Post.

“She was a cat lady who was into embroidery and going out to poetry readings,” the pal mentioned. “She was one of the most risk-averse people I’ve ever met.”

Kansas City police ask that anybody with any details about this case come ahead.  They can accomplish that anonymously on the TIPS hotline, 816-474-TIPS, or by calling the Homicide Unit straight at 816-234-5043.

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