Swope Park shooting stems from 'sideshow'

6 injured; Police still searching for suspects
Swope Park Mass Shooting UGC still
Posted at 10:03 PM, Sep 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-07 23:29:39-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Muzzle flashes lit Swope Park Sunday night in a shooting that injured six people.

A man who recorded the mayhem was too scared to go on-camera. But he – along with a large crowd – was watching cars in the park doing burnouts and donuts in what's called a sideshow.

Bishop Tony Caldwell, with the Justice and Dignity Center, said on Monday he warned Kansas City, Missouri, police of potential trouble between two groups.

"Not only was the sideshow going to happen, but we already got information that there was going to be a shooting here," Caldwell said.

A KCPD spokesperson told 41 Action News that commanders within the assault squad and metro patrol were not aware of any feuding groups ahead of Sunday's incident.

Roosevelt Lyons, deputy director of the KCMO Parks and Recreation Department, said in a statement that he doesn't know if there is anything the parks department can do to "keep the crowds down."

“At this point, there is no rule against people gathering at a park," Lyons wrote. "We will work with KCPD and the community to improve safety. We encourage individuals to enjoy our parks safely, responsibly and in accordance with CDC guidelines. We hope that the individuals in attendance work with KCPD to bring the person responsible for this to justice.”

Community organizer Desmound Logan hosts "Smoke the Tires, Stop the Violence" events to showcase sideshows in a secure environment.

"If you go to a sideshow, you want to go where there's people that's going to watch, you know?" Logan said. "I mean, so they do it for the attention. They do it for shares and likes. We’re trying to clean up the streets, take them off the streets and put them in somewhere where they know they can come."

This time, all six people wounded are expected to survive. But Caldwell said he worries that next time there will be tragedy over a disagreement.

"It's what I call when you are really scared — when you're not man enough to go talk to the person, one on one, or go take somebody else to mediate the situation," Caldwell said. "It's better for you to shoot from a distance than to talk to the person eye to eye — that's a coward."

Police still are searching for suspects in the Sunday night shooting.

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.