KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Christian missionary from China who was visiting Kansas City with his wife and four children was shot to death after he crossed paths with an 18-year-old who was shooting at people while high on drugs, police say.
The victim, Xindong Hao, had just arrived in the city late last month to join fellow missionaries at the International House of Prayer, an evangelical group whose headquarters are near the scene of the shooting, The Kansas City Star reported. Hao was walking in a neighborhood in the area on Aug. 1 when he encountered Curtail Hudson, 18, who was randomly shooting at people in the area, according to court documents. Two other people were wounded before Hudson was arrested.
Hao’s English might not have been strong enough to know why people were shouting at him while he was taking a walk, friend Tony Petrehn said.
As a Christian missionary in China, Hao sometimes worked secretly in a nation whose government discourages certain religions, Petrehn said. Friends said Hao had been to Kansas City before to meet with supporters and raise money for his programs.
During his most recent visit, Hao had enrolled all four of his children in a day camp at the International House of Prayer, said Lenny LaGuardia, vice president of ministries. Hao’s children are aged 2, 4, 6 and 8. His wife, Laura Hao, is from North Carolina. The family lived together in China.
“We’re praying day and night for violence to cease within our communities,’’ LaGuardia said. Hao, he said, “comes to town to enroll his children in the day camp, and he’s gunned down.’’
Hudson was charged on Aug. 2 with second-degree murder. Officers believe he was high on PCP when he started firing at people, according to court documents.
Hudson told police he believed Hao was an accomplice of another man he’d been arguing with moments before, according to court records. That man was taken by family to a hospital after suffering wounds in his neck and back.
Hudson then came upon Hao, who was speaking on the phone. Hudson told police he thought he heard Hao say, “He is right here.’’ According to court records and witnesses, Hudson fired several times at Hao, then beat him with the butt of the shotgun.
A third man driving by in a truck saw Hudson shoot Hao, according to police. Hudson then fired at that man, who was grazed by a bullet.
Hudson told police he did not recall shooting at the third victim. His relatives came to the area and restrained him until police arrived.
Hudson was also charged with four counts of armed criminal action, two counts of first-degree assault and unlawful use of a weapon.
Huan Wei, chairwoman of the Mid-America Asian Cultural Association based in Kansas City, said Hao’s family is Catholic. She said many churches in the Kansas City area often invite Chinese students for summer school programs.