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1 shot, critically injured during disc golf tournament at Kessler Park

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Posted at 4:51 PM, May 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-28 23:25:44-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — One person was shot during a disc golf tournament around 2 p.m. Saturday at Kessler Park.

Kansas City, Missouri, police responded to the scene and determined a victim and three witnesses were playing disc golf in the Kansas City Flying Disc Challenge.

While they were playing, a suspect unknown to the group approached and shot the victim, according to police.

The suspect attempted to flee the scene but was taken into custody by responding officers. At this time, the suspect remains in custody for further investigation.

Transported to a local hospital, police report the victim is in critical condition.

Kansas City Flying Disc Challenge Tournament Director Michael Krueger told KSHB 41 News the tournament was taking place at Kessler Park, Blue Valley Park, LaBenite Park and Water Works Park. Over the course of two days, roughly 280 players, from professional to junior levels, were to play each course.

While monitoring play at Blue Valley Park, the Kessler Park course director alerted Krueger someone had been shot, so he left immediately for the park at 2200 Cliff Drive.

By the time he arrived, Krueger says the alleged suspect had been apprehended.

"I made the quick decision to cancel that particular round and to cancel all remaining rounds that were at Kessler Park," Krueger said. "... The disc golfers were, no surprise, quite shaken."

After conferring with the local disc golf club president as well as the Professional Disc Golf Association, all entities agreed with his decision to cancel the Cliff Drive rounds.

Of course, Krueger says he is first and foremost concerned and hopeful for the victim as well as their friends and family at this time, but he understands the events of Saturday will be "tough to overcome."

As players process the event, some have been outspoken about detesting the location for any further tournaments.

"I have a feeling that the decision will be made for us because players have to sign up for this, and this is not something that is going to go away quickly," he said.

Some players have withdrawn from the tournament, which Krueger says he completely understands. But still, he says although the park has not always had a "very good reputation," he was invested in working with local leaders to support the area, hopeful to see it thrive.

"We spend a lot of time defending that park because the neighborhood deserves it, the park deserves it," he said.

The tournament will continue, with modifications for the pools that did not get to play all four courses, at 9 a.m. Sunday at Blue Valley Park, LaBenite Park and Water Works Park.

For jurisdictions that utilize the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers Tips Hotline, anonymous tips can be made by calling 816-474-TIPS (8477), submitting the tip online or through the free mobile app at P3Tips.com.

Annual homicide details and data for the Kansas City area are available through the KSHB 41 News Homicide Tracker, which was launched in 2015. Read the KSHB 41 News Mug Shot Policy.