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Plaza Academy paraprofessional suffers non-life-threatening injuries in drive-by shooting

Plaza Academy
Posted at 1:08 PM, Jan 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-24 19:27:43-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department spokesperson said a Plaza Academy paraprofessional suffered non-life-threatening injuries in a drive-by shooting Tuesday outside the high school in Westport.

KCPD Sgt. Jake Becchina said officers responded shortly before 12:40 p.m. to a reported shooting in the 3900 block of Broadway Boulevard.

Police said a car pulled up outside Plaza Academy, which Becchina said has "50 to 60 kids" enrolled, and shot the instructor, who was transported to an area hospital where he was expected to recover.

The shooting happened behind the school along Washington Street, where he had been helping students return to the school.

Multiple shots were fired, but it's unclear how many times the paraprofessional was struck.

After going inside the school and asking someone to call 911, the paraprofessional went outside the front of the school.

Arriving officers closed the streets in front of and behind Plaza Academy, allowing "for the safe release of students" and to secure the school for possible threats.

"School administrators went through their protocols and arranged for contact of parents and release of students to parents once police secured the surrounding area," a KCPD release said.

No students were targeted by the shooter, according to the initial investigation, and there was never an attempt to enter the school.

“There’s no indication there was any attempt to get into the school or target anyone who was inside,” Becchina said.

He added that it's “way too early to tell” who the suspected shooter was or the circumstances of the shooting, but Becchina said no suspect was in custody and there was no description of a suspect vehicle.

“It’s something, anytime you hear about something like this, your heart skips a beat,” Becchina said. “We’re thankful this victim is OK."

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call the KCPD Assault Unit at 816-234-5227 or the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers Tips Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477). Calls to the hotline are anonymous, but could earn a monetary reward.

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.