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North Kansas City neighbors, witnesses recount Saturday night shooting outside NKC High School

NKCHS neighbors to shooting
Posted at 4:10 PM, Mar 03, 2024

NORTH KANSAS CITY, Mo — Families who live just steps away from North Kansas City High School said the images and sounds of Saturday night’s shooting outside the school remain at the forefront of their thoughts.

“I just keep hearing the gunshots over and over and it’s in my head now,” Jennifer Hansen said.

Hansen’s Ring doorbell caught the sounds of multiple shots just a block away from her home where both a district basketball game and debate tournament took place. A North Kansas City High School student and an adult were injured in the shooting. Both individuals are in stable condition.

“Any large community gathering is a scary situation anymore,” Hansen said. “As a parent, you have to second guess, am I taking my child into a dangerous situation even though it’s supposed to be a fun event? It’s a hard decision to make these days.”

Hansen’s 9-year-old daughter Ava described the event as traumatizing.

“It kind of sounded like fireworks, but they weren’t fireworks,” Ava said. “I was looking out the window and then I saw people running out of the building yelling 'shooting.'”

Ava was at a friend’s house down the street at the time of the shooting. Her mother ran to check on her while people spilled out into the streets surrounding the high school building.

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North Kansas City High School assistant basketball coach Cooper Bayiha was getting ready to shake hands with the opposing team after their loss when he became a protector for dozens of people.

“My survival instinct kind of kicked in in a way,” Bayiha said. “To make sure my family and my players and everybody that’s involved is safe.”

Students in a different part of the building who participated in a debate tournament sought a safe shelter in the school’s library.

“It’s extremely upsetting,” Park Hill senior Dustin Wallace said. “I’m extremely sad for Kansas City and the country as a whole that this is still an ongoing issue.”

There are currently no known arrests in this case. That fact is a point of concern for the Hansen family.

“Because I don’t know if that (person) is still on the loose,” Ava said.

Ava's mother added that she's "trying to figure out what's going on knowing this person is still out."