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'I saw the looks on their faces': Witnesses describe chaotic aftermath of shooting outside NKC High School

Wes Graves
Posted at 8:52 PM, Mar 02, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-02 21:58:37-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Wes Graves initially initially thought he heard fireworks when a shooting that critically wounded two people unfolded outside of North Kansas City High School on Saturday.

But as people fled the scene, Graves, who lives in front of the high school, quickly realized he was wrong.

"That's why I thought it was fireworks — there's stuff like that happens all the time down here," Graves said. "So I thought it was kids just messing around ... until I saw everyone exiting, and I saw the looks on their faces."

Witness describes seeing people outside NKC High School

Juice Hicks was among the witnesses to the shooting.

"Nobody came here today thinking I could lose my life or get shot. I just wanted to watch my brother play basketball," he told KSHB 41's Caroline Hogan. "This is insane that Kansas City has to go through this so often. First it was the parade and now, it’s all within the span of two or three weeks. I don’t think that’s something that should be going on."

Witnesses describe chaotic aftermath of shooting outside NKC High School

The shooting happened outside of the field house as a basketball game between North Kansas City and Staley High Schools was ending, officials said.

Tommy Ruffin was at the game taking photos when people began running off the bleachers.

Witness describes incident at North Kansas City High School

"They were talking about somebody had a gun, but I didn't hear anything," Ruffin said. "I was super confused, so I went out the back door and came around to the front and saw them bringing someone out on a stretcher."

Drew Wilson, a basketball player at Kearney High School, was in attendance hoping to enjoy the game he loves with his father.

As he was leaving the, he began to hear the gunfire.

"We just hear rapid fire — bah, bah, bah, bah, bah," Wilson said.

He described a chaotic scene that followed.

"Everybody that was outside the building was running inside, it was just chaos," he said.

Wilson said he was just feet away from a bathroom where a group of people had gathered, claiming a victim was inside with gunshot wound.

Wilson said he witnessed police rush to the bathroom

In a press conference addressing the shooting, North Kansas City Police Department Sgt. Christopher Kimmel was asked about a victim inside the bathroom but wasn't able to confirm that information yet.