Kansas City police say Steven Wright Jr. was the worst gangster in recent memory. This summer, his bloody legacy is flowing in the streets.

When Moody Ruled 

Kansas City police say Steven Wright Jr. was the worst gangster in recent memory. This summer, his bloody legacy is flowing in the streets.

Page 6 of 10

In prison at Cameron, Long tells the Pitch he doesn't like talking about the night he killed his childhood friend. He says he acted alone.

"I got a call from Birks and a few other guys," Long says. "All this shit transpired -- something bad, some faulty deal went down. Man, I guess they was trying to set me up. It was a spontaneous type of reaction. Him and a guy he was with, I guess they was up to something no good. I just reacted and I shot him to the point where what was done was done."

None of it was worth it, he says now, because what Birks might have told police wasn't enough to get Long indicted.

But one of the original 51st Street Crips would later describe that night for detectives, and his story would contradict Long's version of events. Detectives would go on to charge Wright with murder for his role in the killing of his fellow 51st Street Crip.

Despite the troubles within the 51st Street gang, police say, Moody continued his onslaught against outside rivals.

He's charged with shooting a man in a meth deal at 16th Terrace and Ewing Avenue on April 2, 2001, and shooting another man near the Loma Vista Bowling Alley off Blue Ridge Boulevard two weeks later. (Both men lived.) In the days that followed, police arrested Wright with Jamal Norris, who detectives believe was a drug runner for the 51st Street Crips, selling stolen drugs to further their trade. The two were captured with a 9 mm pistol loaded with 17 rounds; ballistics tests matched the gun with the assault at the bowling alley the week before.

While he was out on bail in late May of that year, police spotted Wright driving with a passenger in a stolen car at 46th Street and Cleveland Avenue. He sped away but eventually stopped at 4519 East 39th Street.

Officer Larry Liebsch, who had patrolled 51st Street for years and watched Moody organize the gangsters there, says Wright backed the car into a space. Liebsch says Wright and his passenger had their heads down when he parked his police car in front of them.

"As soon as they pulled their heads up, we were out of our car and had our guns drawn," Liebsch recalls. "Stevie punched it, and he came right at me. I tried to get out of the way, and he ran me down."

Liebsch says the car hit his right leg, but he rolled off and wasn't seriously injured.

Wright accelerated toward a retaining wall with a 4-foot drop, cleared it and took off. The incident earned him a warrant for aggravated assault on a police officer.

Two weeks later, Wright turned 18.

It was just after midnight on June 29, 2001, when Cheri Clark got the call that her 22-year-old nephew Alex had been shot at the corner of 33rd Street and Benton Boulevard, only a couple of houses from where her mother lived. Her first thought was that Moody had come for Alex again.

Clark believed that Moody's hatred for the Third Wall wasn't about turf or retaliation for some bad business. Instead, she thought, it was personal.

Clark drove to the heart of Third Wall territory. She saw a body in the street and recognized the red pants and sneakers Alex always wore. Police held her back about 10 yards from the body.

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