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Violence over weekend frustrates business and police

It was a busy weekend for violence in Kansas City.  Police efforts to end a string of violent shootings was unsuccessful starting on Aug. 3. Since that day 23 people were shot, and four of the victims died. Investigators now grappling with a fifth homicide case.

Violence has become so bad in the urban core of the city that African-American pastors, their congregants and even police officers have publicly marched in an effort to bring public attention to the problem.

Fox4 News reports that the latest round of violence happened overnight Saturday into Sunday. The largest incident happened at 18th & Highland in the city’s historic Jazz District where six people were shot around midnight on Sunday.  All victims are expected to be survive, but two women died after a mass of gunshots went off throughout the city.

“We’ve had too many shootings in our city, and too many victims,” said KCPD public information officer Kari Thompson. “Too many crimes unsolved.”

It wouldn’t be the last shooting in the early hours of August 5. At 11:30 on Saturday police heard shots at E 39th Place and found a man shot taken to the hospital with life threatening injuries. Just a half an hour later, six people were shot at 18th & Highland in the Jazz District.

“This shooter was reckless,” Thompson said. “Not only did you shoot this victim here, but you shot other innocent bystanders. We need to get this person in custody, Kansas City. This person is dangerous.”

Around 2:30 a.m.  in the morning police say a woman called 911 saying she was shot in her car.

“When they arrived at the area they located a woman suffering from a gunshot wound inside of a vehicle,” said KCPD public information officer, Jake Becchina. “EMS responded for treatment and they declared her deceased.”

Two hours later around 4:30 a.m. police say they heard gunshots at 59th & Swope. When they arrived officers were shot at and returned fire. One person was injured.

It was a weekend that left many hoping the violence in their neighborhoods will end. Kansas Citians like Bob Kendrick, the president of The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum located in the Jazz District.

“I think it casts a bit of a black eye on our city with the senseless shootings, and those kinds of things that are happening right now,” Kendrick said. “Obviously, I know the powers that be within our city are trying to find ways to get a grip on some of this activity, and hopefully will be able to squelch it.”

August 5 was a celebration for Armon Lasker. He reopened his business, The Director’s Cut Barber Shop, at 18th & Highland hours after six people were shot at the same intersection.

“It happens in every city. It happens in every city. Kansas City is not exempt,” Lasker said. “Shootings happen every day. It’s another shooting. It happens.”

Lasker says he’s hopeful the violence will end, and it doesn’t take away from the development growth at 18th & Vine.

“It’s a movement going on down here in The Jazz District,” Lasker said. “You want to be a part of it right now, because this is where you want to be. This is where you need to be.”

“We want to be better than that as a society, and we should be better than that as a society,” Kendrick said.

Police also investigated a woman found dead in the street at 107th & Greenwood Sunday morning. It’s being investigated as foul play, but police haven’t said if they consider it to be a homicide or not.

KCPD urges anyone who has information about either of these incidents to call the TIPS Hotline at (816) 474-TIPS, or the homicide unit at (816) 234-5042. You can remain anonymous, and there is a $10,000 reward for information that leads to a conviction.