In Memory

Gerald Meszaros

Gerald Meszaros

So very sad to report this tragic news about Jerry...

With the senseless murder of Gerald Meszaros, theKansas City area lost a tireless advocate for low-skilled and blue-collar workers.  He worked as a substitute teacher in Kansas City and participated in a Methodist ministry that helped youth find employment. He also helped in union activities.

Neighbors described Jerry as a good-natured jokester with a booming voice and an East Coast accent.



The Kansas City Star

A uniformed off-duty security guard shot and killed a motorist for
driving the wrong way on a one-way street, Jackson County prosecutors
alleged Wednesday.

Vincent A. Flores, 33, of Kansas City was charged with voluntary
manslaughter and armed criminal action in the death of Gerald E.
Meszaros of Kansas City.

Meszaros, 58, was shot once in the chest about 10:20 p.m. Tuesday in
front of his house in the 500 block of Monroe Avenue.

Flores was in jail Wednesday night on $30,000 bond.

The shooting raised concerns about some security guards overstepping
their authority.

"We don't allow people to enforce traffic laws by shooting people,"
said Mark Jones, assistant prosecutor. "These charges should be a
strong commentary to that effect."

A security guard's job "is not to enforce traffic laws, particularly
not by the use of deadly force," he said.

Police speculated Meszaros drove the wrong way for a short distance on
Thompson Avenue to get to his driveway so he would not have to drive
around several blocks of one-way streets.

Court records gave this account:

Flores had just left his home on Thompson and was driving west on the
street to report to work at KCPI Security. Flores was wearing his
security guard uniform, a badge and a baseball hat with "Security" in
white letters.

As Flores' car approached Monroe, Meszaros's car, in which his sister
was a passenger, turned east on Thompson. The car nearly struck
Flores' car.

Flores stepped out of his car and told Meszaros to "back up," and that
he was not going "to allow him to go the wrong way down a one-way

Meszaros told Flores he lived on Monroe and backed up his car.
Meszaros' sister told police that her brother tried to drive around
Flores. Then Flores stood in front of the car, raised his Ruger
..45-caliber pistol and fired through the windshield.

Flores told police he fired because Meszaros drove at him and hit his
legs twice. Flores told police the car was traveling less than 5 mph.

Flores called 911 and waited for police.

When detectives interviewed Flores, he said he had seen cars drive the
wrong way down his street before and he felt he "needed to stop the
victim's vehicle from doing the same."

Flores told detectives he did not understand "why people would not
follow orders from a security guard like they would the police."

Flores had worked as a KCPI security guard at construction sites for
four weeks, a company spokesman said. He declined to comment further,
saying there was an "ongoing investigation."

People who knew Meszaros expressed their loss.

He worked as a substitute teacher in Kansas City and participated in a
Methodist ministry that helped youth find employment, said Lisa
Elliott, president of the National Education Association of Shawnee
Mission. He also helped in union activities.

"I will really miss him," Elliott said.

Neighbors described Meszaros as a good-natured jokester with a booming
voice and an East Coast accent.

"He was a great man," said Mary Upp. "Just the other day I told him
that I saw he had a tomato plant growing in his yard and he said,
`Yeah, and if I see it's gone, I'll know who took it.' "

Upp said Meszaros was always quick to help her and other senior
citizens in the area.

"Last year he grew tomatoes and gave them to a woman who collects cans
up and down the street," Upp said.

Upp said Meszaros often drove the wrong way on Thompson for the short
distance between the intersection and his driveway. However, she did

not believe he would have threatened or tried to run down anyone who
confronted him about his driving.