No city is immune to shootings. They happen all the time, all around us. However, the prospect of being at the receiving end of a bullet starts to feel like a real possibility when the targets are multiple, seemingly random, and connected to the same shooter or shooters. Such is the current situation in areas around Kansas City, Missouri where, in the last few weeks, there have been over a dozen roadway shootings, which may all be linked in some way.
Roughly 20 shootings have been under investigation by local and federal authorities. The two law enforcement groups have been collaborating and sharing information in hopes of uncovering a motive and possible suspects. The full-blown investigation commenced when it was discovered 4 of the incidences seem to share similar characteristics. From there, officials narrowed the shootings down to 13 that may have shared a connection until one was discounted as a random act of road rage. It seems the shootings involve an individual or individuals literally shooting holes in cars and vehicles of other motorists. A zone, which may have been heavily targeted, is the Three Trails Crossing, also known as the Grandview Triangle. The location is where Highway 71 and Interstates 470 and 435 connect.
Some victims of the shootings had heard what they thought were rocks hitting their vehicles, only to later discover bullet holes. One motorist said he had witnessed a man driving while wearing a hoodie and ski mask. While no one has been fatally shot, Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forte admits it’s “only a matter of bullet placement,” that can mean the difference between life and death. As one can imagine, many who drive through the targeted areas are now extremely wary and fearful. However, all are being advised to keep using their normal routes.
As of Friday April 11, 12 cases of Kansas City roadway shootings have now been “positively” linked, according to police, and may or may not continue to plague residents and motorists in the area. The first incident reportedly happened on March 8th and the latest was this past Sunday, April 6. Five of the shootings happened all within last week. As far as injuries, one person was wounded in the leg and two others in the arm. Not one roadway shooting has occurred since the authorities went public with their investigation on Monday, April 7.
Federal authorities have now upped their reward to $10,000 for tips leading to an arrest. While, the shootings have subsided, police have been deployed to areas around previous incidences as a precautionary measure and as a way to help motorists feel safe. Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forte claims that the city’s highways are secure, particularly due to the work done by law enforcement recently. According to Forte, motorists have a greater chance of getting into a car accident than being the victim of a highway shooting.
Although no arrests have been made, Forte is confident he and his team will collar the criminal or criminals responsible. It is not clear whether or not the shootings have been intended to be fatal, wound, or simply scare. However, according to Forte: “I don’t know how you can’t think that you might kill someone when you’re shooting through a door like that.” Now that authorities have evidence that may link the Kansas City roadway shootings, it is hopefully a matter of time before justice is done and the fear can subside.
By Josh Taub