KCMO city leaders focused on violent crime after 12 shootings in 24 hours

Triple Shooting
Posted at 4:46 PM, May 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-21 18:33:37-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — City leaders are trying to find a way to stop the violence in Kansas City, Missouri, after police reported 12 non-fatal shootings in a 24-hour period.

“We have a serious problem, we should never get used to 12 in a 24 hour period, what’s worse about that is, the fact that usually our violence spikes during the summer months, and so I shutter to think about the fact that this might just be the beginning," Mayor Quinton Lucas said.

Kansas City Police Chief Rick Smith shared the Mayor's concerns.

In a blog post Wednesday afternoon, Chief Smith said police presence is not deterring violent acts.

“We have not seen a significant reduction in most crime — we have seen in some crimes — but our shootings and our homicides have gone up dramatically," Smith said.

After Smith posted his blog, a triple shooting occurred in a Midtown neighborhood, injuring an "unintended victim," police said.

“She’s wheelchair-bound so she has to take public transportation to her dialysis appointments, and that’s what she was doing. She was waiting on a bus when she was struck," Matthew Merryman said.

Merryman told 41 Action News his neighbor is recovering, but said the gun violence in his neighborhood has increased.

“We’ve been hearing it in the middle of the day, we’ve been hearing it in the middle of the night, on a daily basis almost," Merryman said.

In his blog, Chief Smith said that two-thirds of shooting victims do not cooperate with police. He also noted the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the criminal justice system.

“Courts don’t flow, charges don’t move and things are stacking up here at this end, and like I’ve said before, this is creating a perfect storm because the system was pretty overloaded to begin with," Smith said.

Lucas told 41 Action News that creating a conducive environment for shooting victims is one way to get them to talk and get shooters off of the streets.