Luke Nozicka, Kansas City Star, August 5, 2019
Before she was hit by a stray bullet Friday night at one of Kansas City’s most popular outdoor arts events, Erin Langhofer had a blossoming career as a therapist who advocated for survivors of domestic violence, her family said.
“It was a huge part of who she was,” Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said during a news conference to announce charges against Deon’te Copkney, the 18-year-old man accused of firing the bullet that struck Langhofer in the head.
The gunfire erupted about 10 p.m. near 18th and Main streets as thousands of people attending the First Friday event milled around. Langhofer was near the food trucks, enjoying the night with her boyfriend and other friends, when she was “struck down,” her family said in a statement.
Authorities described 25-year-old Langhofer, of Overland Park, as an innocent bystander.
Off-duty police officers working in the area chased three males who ran after the shots were fired. They arrested Copkney, who allegedly told detectives he was the only person to shoot during a fight that did not involve Langhofer.
Copkney, of Kansas City, faces charges that include second-degree murder.