Saturday, April 12
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Several shootings have targeted apparently random vehicles along a tangle of interstates in south Kansas City, but it doesn't seem to have rattled area drivers, who say they'll stick with their normal routes.
Police have said 12 of the shootings that have been reported since March 8 are connected but wouldn't elaborate. Most of the shootings, in which three people have been wounded, are in an area on the city's south side known both as Three Trails Crossing and the Grandview Triangle, where three interstate highways and U.S. 50 intersect.
"It doesn't bother me none. If he shoots me he shoots me," said Kathy Embley, of nearby Overland Park, Kan. She drives through the area at least a couple times a week, and said she won't alter that.
"It's just somebody trying to scare people and accidentally shoots them ... it gives him the glory of thinking he's high-powered, scaring people and that makes a man out of him, he thinks, and he accidentally hits people is what happens," she said.
While the shootings have some similarities in geography, time of day and circumstances, there is no physical evidence connecting them, Kansas City police spokesman Capt. Tye Grant said earlier this week. In each shooting, shots were fired from a vehicle just before reaching a highway exit ramp or road split, and the car then veered off in a different direction from the victim's vehicle.
Local and federal investigators have been meeting daily to discuss the shootings and cull through scores of tips. A reward for information leading to an arrest has been increased to $10,000.
Police Chief Daryl Forté has said he also believes the highways are safe.
"My mother lives near the Three Trails Crossing, and just this morning I told her it was safe to be out driving," he told The Kansas City Star. "I wouldn't tell my own mother that if I didn't believe it. It's probably one of the safest places in town right now."
Roger Oatman, of Belton, said Friday his daily commute involves more than 30 miles, including a section through the Grandview Triangle.
He said "to avoid going through there, I'd have to stay off the interstates for quite a while," and he's unwilling to do that.
Oatman also said "with the number of cars that go through there," his chances of getting hit are low."
"They don't seem to be trying to injure the people they're shooting at. If they're just shooting at the car and they scram, because all they want to do is to take a potshot."
Vickie Marshall, of Kansas City, Mo., was waiting with her grandson at a park-and-ride lot Friday and said she's lived in the area for 45 years.
"Yes, you always have reservations. You hear about it on TV and it's just unbelievable," she said. "But you can't not continue on living. You have to keep on going and keep your eyes open, be very aware of what's going on."