Crime

KCK man charged with shooting into Westport crowd, injuring seven

By Katy Bergen

kbergen@kcstar.com

September 12, 2016 09:53 AM

UPDATED September 12, 2016 04:59 PM

A victim of a shooting in Westport early Sunday told police he hurried into a parking lot after seeing a group that gave him “weird vibes” but was hit by the suspect’s car and shot in the thigh when he stood to flee, according to court documents.

Prosecutors say video from an area business shows the car knocking into the man in the parking lot behind AC Hotel Westport. Two people then got out of the car, and fired shots toward the man in the direction of a nearby crowd. By the end of the shooting spree, at least seven people were injured, according to officials.

Jackson County prosecutors announced Monday they charged Kelvin Clark, of Kansas City, Kan., with seven counts each of assault and armed criminal action. His bond is set at $250,000. The 29-year-old has been convicted in both Kansas and Missouri of crimes including battery on a law enforcement officer, tampering with a motor vehicle and interfering with an arrest for a felony.

Authorities say that after shots rang out, Clark and another man got back in the car and sped away before quickly becoming involved in a traffic accident at 39th Street and Southwest Trafficway. The two men fled. One of the suspects dropped a gun on the sidewalk. Police saw Clark running and were able to arrest him, documents say. “I don’t know what’s going on,” he allegedly told police as they arrested him. “I was the passenger in a wreck and then I ran.”

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At police headquarters, Clark told detectives that he was in Westport and was in the back seat of a car that got into a crash. He said he didn’t know whom he was with; he was too drunk to remember, according to court documents. He was not in any altercation, he told police.

A woman who was inside the car that crashed also was arrested. She told police that she was in the car with two men, the driver and a man in the back seat. The men began talking to another person, she said. She was in the car when gunfire erupted and she ducked down, she told police, according to court documents.

Officials said the victims were being treated at local hospitals. At least one is in critical condition, while the others are in stable condition.

According to Kansas City Police Department data on crimereports.com, there has been an average of 7.6 reports of varying kinds of assault per month in the immediate area surrounding the Westport entertainment district — the blocks south of West 39th Street and north of West 43rd Street and between Main and Summit streets.

Police investigate Westport shooting that injured at least six

A gunman opened fire into a group of people early Sunday at one of Kansas City’s popular night spots, injuring at least six people. One person has critical injuries.

Susan Pfannmuller and Chris Ochsner The Kansas City Star

Katy Bergen: 816-234-4120, @KatyBergen