KANSAS CITY, Missouri — A 22-year-old Missouri man is being eyed as a possible serial killer responsible for the shooting deaths of five middle aged men who he may have targeted because they were white, authorities said.
Frederick Demond Scott, who is black, has been charged in the fatal shootings of two of the victims and is considered a top suspect in the death of three others who were all gunned down along a popular hiking trail in Kansas City.
Police say it is not clear if the attacks were racially motivated, but in 2014, Scott was arrested for threatening to shoot up a high school “Columbine style” and “kill all white people,” according to the Kansas City Star.
He was sentenced to six months in jail but later had the sentence suspended and was put on probation. His mother told the paper that her son suffered from paranoid schizophrenia but refused to get treatment.
The victims, who ranged in age from 54 to 67, were killed on and around the Indian Creek hiking trail between August 2016 and August of this year. Several of the shootings appeared to be ambush killings in which the victims were shot in the back of the head. Some were killed while walking their dogs, with the animals remaining by their sides until their bodies were found.
Police say Scott boasted, “they didn’t see it coming,” when questioned by detectives.
Investigators got a break in the case after the fifth killing, which occurred on a city street in broad daylight, when they located surveillance footage showing Scott follow the victim a bus before he was shot.
Scott was later linked to the scene from DNA detectives lifted from a iced tea bottle and a cigarette butt found at the scene of the final killing. The DNA also matched that found on a t-shirt left at the scene of an earlier killing.
People who knew Scott said he had never been the same following the shooting death of his half-brother, Gerrod Woods, in a robbery in 2015. The killer in that case, who is black, was recently sentenced to 45 years in prison.