Kids Safety 101
teddy bear lies on floor

4-Year-Old Boy’s Murder Leads to Operation LeGend: The New Federal Crime Initiative

Earlier this month, FOX23 stated that police had arrested a man, Ryson Ellis, who was hiding in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In June, Ellis allegedly murdered a 4-year-old boy named LeGend Taliferro while the child slept.

As of August 26, officials had extradited Ellis back to Kansas City, Missouri, where the crime took place.

4-Year-Old LeGend Taliferro Killed in His Sleep

KCTV5 News reports that on the night of the crime in June, LeGend was asleep on the floor of his father’s apartment. Ellis, who is 22 years old, fired a gun into the apartment multiple times. A bullet struck LeGend, killing him.

Ellis now faces charges of second-degree murder, unlawful use of a weapon, and two counts of armed criminal action.

Police said that they believe Ellis knows LeGend’s father. Reportedly, the two had an argument a few days before the shooting.

Court records say a witness claims she drove Ellis to the apartment complex that evening. The witness said she heard several gunshots after Ellis left the car. She also said that she drove him away afterward, but did not know Ellis had hurt anyone.

LeGend’s Mother Calls for Community Action

LeGend’s mother, Charron Powell, told the 41 Action News Investigative Team that her son “loved” Ryson Ellis, and she wasn’t even suspicious of the man until after the shooting.

“I’m so grateful that we are in the steps to justice. But, as a community, we also have to recognize that now it’s a young man that was 22 years old, now that he’s incarcerated, due to an incident. So in reality, this is a lose situation for my family and including his.”

Federal Government Honors Child With New ‘Operation LeGend’ Against Violent Crime

In response to the shooting, the federal government unveiled Operation LeGend: An effort to slow and halt violent crime in American cities. The goal is to send F.B.I. agents from the United States Marshals Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and other agencies to at least six cities.

The initiative recently began in LeGend’s hometown of Kansas City after President Trump met with the child’s family. Since then, the operation has spread to Chicago, St. Louis, and Albuquerque.

When asked how she felt about the operation bearing LeGend’s name, LeGend’s mother said, “I was okay with it. I was like, ‘Yes, let’s go ahead and get the groundwork done. They need more people on the ground to help us solve murders.’”

U.S. Attorney Tim Garrison said that LeGend’s case is “precisely the type of case that this operation was designed to solve and we are very pleased that his case is one step closer to bringing justice to little LeGend and his family.”

He also said that since Operation LeGend began in Kansas City, more than 200 arrests have been made. 16 of those arrests were homicide suspects.

Katy Holloway