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Police: 4 injured in shootout at Independence Center; 3 persons of interest in custody

Independence Center shooting
Posted at 3:13 PM, Nov 10, 2023

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Four people were injured, one critically, in a shootout between two groups of people at Independence Center around 2:20 p.m. on Friday, police said.

One person is in critical condition and three others sustained injuries ranging from non-life-threatening to serious. It is unclear if the victims were part of the groups or bystanders.

Three people of interest are in custody, according to Jack Taylor, a spokesperson with the Independence Police Department. Police stopped them on East 39th Street S as they attempted to drive away.

Police were sent to the mall on a report of shots fired.

The shooting happened shortly after 2:20 p.m. in the breeze way located at the entrance from East 39th Street S, according to Taylor.

Investigation efforts found the shooting involved two groups of people. Officials aren't sure how they interacted or their relations to one another.

It wasn't immediately clear what led to the violence.

"I look up and I see people closing their doors and stuff," said Nick Stephens, who was in the food court at the time of the shooting. "And I'm like, oh yeah, that's where it's like, that's when it's serious, like people running people closing their doors. I look over at my brother, and I'm just like, 'Yeah, we gotta go, we gotta go.' And so we get up, he grabbed everything, I grabbed everything, and like we tried to get out of there."

Police said the situation was stable, and have setup a pickup location at the car wash located at the northeast corner of the mall.

"You know, I heard it through my headphones, and I have noise canceling, so that gives you an idea how loud it was," said Chris Stephens, who was in the mall with his brother Nick Stephens at the time of the shooting.

On Saturday, police provided an update to the condition of the victims.

Three of the four victims of the shooting were treated and released from the hospital, Taylor said.

One adult female, who was in critical condition as of Saturday morning, remains in the hospital.

Karla Brown, 19, was identified by family and a friend as one of the victims of the shooting.