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Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas addresses Crown Center mass shooting

Mayor Quinton Lucas
Posted at 5:35 PM, Jan 20, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — On Saturday, Jan. 20, Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas addressed the mass shooting that occurred near the food court at Crown Center on Wednesday, Jan. 17, and injured six people.

While Lucas said entertainment districts in Kansas City are safe, he said there is an issue with the number of young people who have access to firearms and choose to resolve their disputes with guns in public spaces.

"My child and my wife are out at Union Station right now, plan to meet up with them at Crown Center a little later today," Lucas said while at an event in the Power and Light District. "Crown Center is safe in Kansas City, as is the Plaza, but as we've seen in Kansas City, we've had shooting incidents both at Independence Center, Oak Park Mall, more recently at Crown Center."

The Crown Center mass shooting is the latest shooting in the Kansas City-metro area stemming from an argument between two groups of people that led to multiple people being shot in a public space.

On Nov. 10, 2023, three people were shot and a 19-year-old pregnant woman was killed when a shootout occurred as a result of an argument between two groups of people at Independence Center.

Just days later, on Nov. 13, 2023, on-duty detectives with the Overland Park Police Department were attempting to apprehend a shoplifting suspect at Oak Park Mall when a struggle ensued and the suspect allegedly grabbed an officer's gun and fired it, narrowly missing a young girl sitting in the food court.

On Sept. 5, 2023, a 15-year-old male suspect was taken into custody following a shooting on the Country Club Plaza that injured a 14-year-old male.

KSHB 41 News asked Lucas what his message to Kansas Citians is following the Crown Center shooting while he made an appearance at Light County Road Ice House by Joe’s Kansas City BBQ to wager a bet with Buffalo, New York, Mayor Byron Brown ahead of the Chiefs vs. Bills Divisional showdown on Sunday:

"There is an issue with the number of people carrying firearms, and typically young people, who are getting into disputes that they're resolving in our entertainment districts with firearms. I have talked to (KCPD) Chief Stacey Graves a number of different times; I know she often talks to her partners in police both in Independence and Overland Park, trying to figure out ways that we can all come together to come up with ways that will be safe and make sure that young people will not be carrying, that we won't see the type of fights and other disputes and activities that seem to build up from some incidents in these areas," he said.

A day after the Crown Center shooting, on Jan. 18, Lucas spoke with Vice President Kamala Harris about gun violence prevention. KSHB 41 News asked Lucas what prevention measures he took away from the discussion that could be implemented in Kansas City:

"Well, look, there are some realities to gun violence prevention that I think here, in Kansas City, can give us some level of hope. Last year, shootings were actually down in Kansas City; while homicides were up, shootings are down. So we're seeing a negative and downward trend there, which is good for us. But, we've seen in many other American cities homicides drop tremendously. A lot of that relates to the work that federal agencies are doing with local governments. The vice president and I were able to talk about a few different, and I think, very important things: One, how do we make sure we're advocating to get guns out of the hands of our young people? How are we making sure we're teaching conflict resolution to more of our young people so you're not having fights with teenagers spill over into shootings, whether it be at Oak Park Mall, Independence Center or Crown Center, or anywhere in our city, frankly. And then, the other thing we talked about was intimate partner violence, domestic violence. When you look at homicide spikes, tragically and unfortunately, much of it often relates to the fact that domestic violence victims are being re-victimized again and again," he said.