Kansas City lawyer shot and killed in front of his home after dropping kids at school

Tom Pickert, 39, was dead by the time first responders arrived to his home.PlayKMBC
WATCH Kansas City lawyer shot and killed in front of his home after dropping kids at school

Missouri police are searching for the suspect who gunned down a 39-year-old Kansas City lawyer in front of his home Wednesday morning after he had dropped off his children at school.

Police were called to the home in Kansas City's Brookside neighborhood, where they found the man in the front yard "with no signs of life," the Kansas City Police Department said in a statement.

Partners in the law firm Fowler Pickert Eisenmenger, LLC identified the deceased man as one of their partners, Tom Pickert.

Pickert's wife told officials she heard a gunshot and found Pickert in the front yard, police said. Pickert's wife also told emergency dispatchers that the suspect was in a white van with no back window, according to the 911 call.

After the shooting, investigators were searching for the driver of a white Chevrolet van but later found the van Wednesday afternoon -- unoccupied in an undisclosed location, police said.

Police told ABC News that the owner of the van is not a suspect in Pickert's death. Police would not disclose the name of the owner of the van to ABC News.

Pickert had just returned home from walking his children to school around 8 a.m. when he was shot, local ABC affiliate KMBC reported. He had been sitting on his front porch, The Kansas City Star reported. Pickert's wife, a physician at in the University of Kansas Healthcare system, heard the noise and then called 911, according to police.

Pickert specialized in personal injury law with a focus on medical malpractice and nursing home and long-term care abuse cases, according to his biography on his firm's website.

Pickert's neighbor, Deborah Carlton, told KMBC that she was "shocked" and "stunned" at the news of his death.

Another neighbor, David Wesley, told KMBC that he "really feels" for the family.

"I trust and hope this community here will embrace them and gather around them right now," Wesley said.

Kansas City police have asked residents to remain vigilant as they search for a suspect.

"As with any homicide or with any event in the community, we again would just remind everyone to be vigilant," Maj. Donna Greenwell told KMBC. "If people have concerns in regards to their safety, I would ask that they reach out to their local police department."

Additional details on the case were not immediately available.

ABC News' Cheryl Gendron, Rachel Katz and Michael Solmsen contributed to this report.