Kansas City police link together some of 13 highway shootings

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - UPDATE, 1:45 p.m., April 8: This story has been updated .

UPDATE, 12:37 p.m., April 8: Some of the shootings have now been directly linked, according to KCPD. Police would not reveal the specifics of the link, nor how many of the shootings have been linked.

ORIGINAL STORY: Police are investigating a string of shootings at cars in and around the metro area over the past month. 

Three people have been injured after being struck by gunfire, police said, and there have been a total of 13 shootings since early March. The shootings are not necessarily related to each other, said Kansas City Police Department Capt. Tye Grant, but police are checking for any possible connections. 

"Some similarities beg the question," he said, but noted there was no specific evidence other than the location of the shootings to tie them together.

There has been one shooting each day for the previous six days, Grant said. Seven of the 13 have happened in or near Three Trails Crossing, also known as the Grandview Triangle, and 10 have happened on highways.

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The deeper investigation started last Thursday, Grant said, noting the number of shootings went from four to 13. He said several of the shootings were initially filed as property crimes rather than assaults.

When detectives in KCPD's violent crimes unit noticed four shootings in the KC area, they discovered more than double had occurred. KCPD Chief Darryl Forte has met with the FBI, various analysts and detectives, and has asked to be briefed daily on updates, Grant said.

The shootings have occurred on both sides of the state line, including KCMO, Leawood, Lee's Summit and Blue Springs.

One victim, who said his car was shot at on March 19, said the bullet hit his back passenger side door where his son usually sits.

Tom McFarlin said he was driving home from his son’s basketball game near Highway 291 South and Interstate 470 when he heard a loud noise. “It was different because it was very loud, but I didn't run over anything, and the car didn't bump or shake. Just down the road, I had a chance, so I pulled over to see if there was any damage, and that's when I found the bullet hole," he said.

He also said he is concerned because he doesn’t believe it was a random incident. "I would have rather it been, maybe just a once in a lifetime, random type of deal. Since it's happened more and more, it makes it a little scarier. I drive through that area all the time," he added.

He said his car was hit twice. The first bullet lodged in the door, and the second bounced off the highway and damaged the underside of his Ford Fusion.

Although he did not know what kind of weapon was used, he told a 41 Action News reporter that it was some type of handgun. He also did not see the suspect or suspects.

Police are now ramping up their presence in the triangle area where the majority of the shootings took place.

Anybody with information is asked to contact police.

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