KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Since the first of the month, police say the department has responded to a “concerning” number of violent crimes. Police said 25 people have been shot since Wednesday. Six of those people died.
Five of the incidents occurred Saturday night into Sunday morning.
Monday, a police spokesperson said the spike in violence is “concerning,” but he could not explain the reason for the spike.
Sgt. Jake Becchina said none of the shootings appear to be related. He stated there is no evidence linking any of the shootings to gang activity.
Police have arrested people in two of the six homicide cases. In the five shootings from over the weekend, police arrested suspects in one.
The Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office announced three men now face charges related to an officer-involved shooting early Sunday morning.
Juan Carlos Cuevas-Alvarez, 32, Fidel A. Carmona, 29, and Diego Torres-Infante, 24, all face a charge of unlawful use of a weapon. Cuevas-Alvarez faces an additional charge of delivery of a controlled substance.
Police believe the three men were shooting into the air a little past 4 a.m. Sunday near E. 59th Street and Swope Parkway. Officers reported being fired upon when they arrived. One officer shot back. After a standoff, police arrested the three men.
Police continue to search for shooters in four other cases from the weekend.
At about 11:30 p.m. Saturday dispatchers sent officers to the 4900 block of 39th Place on a call of shots fired. Upon arrival, officers located a man with life-threatening injuries from a gunshot. On Monday, police said the victim died from his injuries.
Just after midnight Sunday, officers were called to 18th & Highland on a disturbance and the sound of shots. Becchina said there was a large crowd in the area, a group began to have an argument, and detectives believe at least one person started shooting.
“We don’t know what started it or where it began before that. We do know there was a large group of people there. So it was a very dangerous situation. When that gunfire erupted, there were dozens of people around that area,” Becchina said of the shooting in the 18th and Vine district.
Becchina said the shooting injured six people, three men and three women ranging from their 20s to 40s. Police say some of the victims were bystanders and not involved in the initial argument. They all suffered serious injuries.
Police say they have no suspects at this time, but there was a large group in the area who saw and heard something, and police need them to call the TIPS Hotline (816-474-8477). Detectives planned to canvass the area Monday to search for witnesses, surveillance video and clues.
About 2:20 Sunday morning officers on patrol in the 1300 block of East 89th Street heard gunshots in the area. While driving toward the gunshots, police received a 911 call from a woman saying she'd been shot. Upon arrival, they located a woman inside a vehicle in a parking lot, now identified as 26-year-old Shanterria Edwards. EMS crews arrived and declared her dead. Sgt. Becchina says the woman was found near an apartment complex, and they believe people heard and saw something, and officers need tips.
Less than an hour later, officers were called to an unknown medical-related call in the 10700 block of Greenwood Road. There they found a woman on the street unresponsive. EMS crews declared her dead. Police later determined her cause of death was gunfire. They identified her as 55-year-old Cyrenaica Lang.
Sgt. Becchina says "We keep trying. We keep telling people we want to stop and resolve the issues of violence in the city, and we will not stop until they are resolved."