NewsKansas City Public Safety


Teen shot in leg inside Independence Center on New Year's Eve

Police: Shooting came after altercation
independence center dec 31 shooting
Posted at 5:51 PM, Dec 31, 2020

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — A 16-year-old boy was shot in the leg inside Independence Center on Thursday evening, prompting the mall to close for the remainder of the night.

Law enforcement personnel from multiple jurisdictions — including Independence, Kansas City, Missouri, and the Jackson County Sheriff's Department — responded to the incident, according to an Independence police, which is handling the investigation.

An altercation between two groups of people preceded the shooting, according to Officer John Syme, a spokesperson for the Independence Police Department.

Police detained one other person at the scene and were looking for others involved in the initial altercation, Syme said.

"We are looking for others involved," he said. "That doesn’t necessarily mean that they are a suspect or victim. It just means that they are involved somehow in the incident. They may have seen something. They may have been there directly a part of it as well."

The Independence Police Department confirmed the shooting in a post to Facebook around 6 p.m., asking the public to stay away from Independence Center.

The mall closed for the night.

"Police officers were working off-duty security and heard shots fired," Independence police said in a Facebook post. "Located a subject shot in the leg and provided life saving medical assistance. The subject a 16 year old male was transported to an area hospital. One other subject has been detained."

The shooting reportedly near Dick’s Sporting Goods, which is located on the west side of the shopping center, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

The off-duty officers applied "a couple" tourniquets to the teen shooting victim's leg to stop the bleeding before he was taken to a nearby hospital.

Police will review mall security footage as part of the investigation.

Independence Center has been in the news recently after large-scale fights led city leaders to impose a curfew on unattended minors near the mall and other shopping centers along that corridor.

Multiple juveniles were detained after several hundred teenagers caused problems, including a handful of fights, in late October.

At least 10 people were arrested last weekend after another series of disturbances.

Businesses in the area have been adjusting to the curfew amid the spike in incidents at the mall, which was rescued from the brink of a foreclosure sale in February 2018 by Pacific Retail Capital Partners.

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

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