Mayor speaks about weekend shooting that hurt 5

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City, Mo., Mayor Sly James is speaking out in the wake of a banquet hall shooting that sent three teens and two other young people to the hospital early Sunday morning. The shooting happened just before midnight Saturday at the Tropical Palms at 87th and Hillcrest -- and it is not the first time there's been violence there.

At a party at the same banquet hall in 2008, a 20-year-old man was shot in the head and died. Others were injured. There were 200 people at the party that night.

In this most recent shooting, an owner of the hall, Vincent Johnson, told Fox 4 that someone rented out the hall for about 150 teenagers Saturday evening.

Ttwo 15 year olds, a 17-year-old and two 20 year olds were shot -- one critically -- but that victim was listed in stable condition Monday.

Mayor James says this type of repeated violence proves young people need more options for things to do, but says creating alternatives isn't always easy.

"What are they supposed to do? When they go to the Plaza that's a problem, okay -- so what exactly are we expecting these kids to do? Stay at home watch TV? That's not going to happen," said James.

Mayor James says in the city where there's violence there's not much else.

"It's not lost on me that a lot of these issues occur on the east side or out south where there is a scarcity of other things, movies, restaurants, jobs, education," he said.

James said while the city hopes to expand its youth programs, it's not enough. He says parents, churches, communities need to come together to be part of the solution.

"We cannot become the 'De facto' parent, babysitter, chaperon for every child in this city -- it just is impossibility," said James.

There was security at the hall Saturday evening. According to the police report, a witness told officers he was working security at the front door checking people for weapons, but says he showed up late. He said when he got to the banquet hall 50 people were already inside.

No arrests have been made. A witness told police he saw a man shooting from a car before that man drove away, a police report said.

Johnson would not say who rented the hall Saturday night.


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