Westport experiences another weekend of violence

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A boarded up window at a coffeehouse is a reminder of the nearly two dozen gunshots that ripped through Westport Sunday morning.

A night out with friends ended with Daniel Brabant running for his life. 

“Next thing you know there’s rapid fire and then that’s when I go diving into a bush behind a car,” Brabant said.

When it was over a Kansas City Police Department officer had wounded the armed suspect. The shooting is the latest one to plague the entertainment district.

“I’ve been there at least two to three times of those other shootings before while I’ve been down there,” Brabant said.

It happened a weekend after the Westport regional business league started charging $5 for parking at lots around the district. They cited patron safety as the reason for the fee.

On Monday 41 Action News went to their offices looking for answers, but the head of the league, Kim Kimbrough wasn’t available to speak. 

“People should be aware the area is one that you should not be prancing around after—in the wee hours of the morning it’s just not safe,” said Linda Schwarzkopf, who works in Westport.

One business owner tells 41 Action News the paid parking has actually increased the number of officers here on the weekends.

In fact, off-duty sheriff deputies were able to pull over a car leaving the crime scene with two shooting victims Sunday morning.

According to that business owner, the problem they face is when bars around they city close at 1:30 a.m., people come to Westport to keep the party going until the 3 a.m. but not everyone agrees.

“I don’t think it’s necessarily a timing thing I think that it’s the kind of people that are being attracted to the area,” Mallory Anthony, who also works in Westport said.

The manager of KCMO regulated industries tells 41 Action News his office has not looked into making Westport bars close earlier as a way to reduce crime in the district.

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