Was homicide of Aviva Okeson-Haberman a case of mistaken id?

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

Okeson-Haberman, 24, was pronounced useless April 23 after her boss at KCUR went to test on her the subsequent day and located her unconscious. Her demise made nationwide and worldwide headlines, most of which mentioned Haberman was the sufferer of a “stray bullet” in a “random taking pictures.”

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

However 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 be a reporter, a Fb message final week suggesting the taking pictures was deliberate — however not meant for her daughter. Sumpter mentioned she additionally advised Okeson-Haberman’s boss at KCUR and her former journalism professor. Okeson confirmed to the Put up that she had obtained the message.

“It was intentional,” Sumpter advised The Put up. “Me and Aviva lived instantly throughout from one another. I used to sit down in the identical place in my condominium that Aviva was sitting when she received shot. I advised the police in March somebody was going to die.”

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

Sumpter mentioned the ex-beau climbed via her kitchen window and threatened her. Sumpter wouldn’t say why he was indignant. She mentioned she referred to as 911. Kansas Metropolis police confirmed that Sumpter reported an assault on March 21 and court docket information 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 may terminate her lease, she mentioned.

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

“I used to see her along with her backpack. She didn’t actually converse a lot, she’d mentioned hello and go about her enterprise,” Sumpter mentioned.

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

Sumpter mentioned somebody broke her home windows on April 2 and he or she was so frightened she left the condominium, coming again solely often to select up issues she’d left. She described her ex as a drug supplier and convicted felon. He’s listed as being on parole or probation with the Missouri Division 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 taking pictures of Okeson-Haberman may have been a botched hit meant for her, one way or the other organized by her ex after he went again to jail.

“His child mama was threatening me on a regular basis and telling me to return out and struggle her,” Sumpter mentioned. “Any individual put sugar in my [gas] tank and reduce my tires. I’ve 1000’s of messages of harassment.”

Kansas Metropolis Police Sgt. Jake Becchina wouldn’t touch upon Sumpter or her allegations particularly, however advised The Put up that “I can affirm that detectives are speaking to all people who have come ahead which will have data. They’re additionally evaluating all of the proof.”

Okeson-Haberman had been reporting on Missouri authorities and politics for KCUR whereas dwelling within the Santa Fe part of Kansas Metropolis, which known as “Killa Metropolis,” due to the excessive homicide fee. She was planning a transfer to Lawrence, Kansas, for a brand new gig masking legal justice points for the Kansas Information Service on the time of her demise.

Regardless of a typically tough life — she had gone into the foster care system for awhile as a young person — Okeson-Haberman went on to graduate from the highly-regarded Missouri College of Journalism in 2019. Her investigation of Missouri’s elder abuse hotline prompted an investigation by the Legal professional Common and caused statewide coverage adjustments 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 Information 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 dwelling within the Santa Fe part of Kansas Metropolis.

However whereas her reporting was revered and he or she was seen as a troublesome journalist with a promising future, Aviva led a quiet life, didn’t have a boyfriend and didn’t have any recognized enemies, an in depth buddy advised The Put up.

“She was a cat girl who was into embroidery and going out to poetry readings,” the buddy mentioned. “She was probably the most risk-averse individuals I’ve ever met.”

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

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