KCMO councilwoman caught in rolling gun battle that sent child to hospital

Posted at 4:49 PM, Apr 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-19 19:21:17-04

Police are looking for more than one suspect involved in a rolling gun battle on Tuesday evening that sent a child to the hospital.

The incident happened around 8:30 p.m. in front of the Country View Market at 58th and Swope Parkway. Many people were in the parking lot when the bullets started flying.

Kansas City, Missouri 5th District Councilwoman Alissia Canady was about to go inside to get a pop when she heard multiple gunshots.

"I looked up and saw everybody in front of the store hit the ground," Canady said. She crouched down in her car. When she though the shooting was over, it started again.

"I saw a vehicle driving one car away from me down the side street with a guy hanging out of it, firing into the other car," Canady recalled.

She wasn't hurt, but police say one of the bullets grazed a child's head, who was sitting in a nearby car. The child reportedly has nonlife-threatening injuries.

"The recklessness of it, you know," Canady said. "It was still daylight outside, kids were outside."

Police say the two vehicles zigzagged up Swope Parkway, one car even going the wrong direction. Police don't have any suspects in custody and are working with very little information.

"In my community, there's no QuikTrip, there's no supermarket for you to go into or anything.  You go to the corner store. And it's not that the store is a problem, it's what people feel is acceptable to do in the community," Canady said.

The corner store manager said his surveillance cameras don't point out into the street.

Police are hoping to fill that gap by installing 400 more cameras into areas where they don't get a lot of tips. The cameras will record along major thoroughfares, highways, and exit ramps.

"These cameras will capture more vehicles, more individuals' faces, especially with digital technology," Major Greg Volker said.

There are already 1,300 cameras in high-crime areas around Kansas City. 

"Our camera becomes our witness. And it's a very good witness because it has no opinion whatsoever, it just shows the data," Volker said.

The Kansas City, Missouri Police Department will analyze incoming data, and if another area seems to have more crime, they can move cameras there.

Canady is all in favor of the cameras but says they only go so far. She says it's up to the people to fight violence.

"I don't look at it and say those pesky guns. You're dealing with people that are making very poor choices and we've got to do everything we can to target those communities," Canady said.

Canady chairs the city's Neighborhoods and Public Safety Committee. The committee heard from Kansas City Public Schools in Wednesday's meeting about a plan to expand its mentoring program district-wide.

Canady feels that kind of intervention early on in kids' lives will help prevent them from turning to violence later.

Police don't have any suspects in custody in the incident.  Anyone who saw or heard anything is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).