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Suspects fleeing after carjacking leads to crash into building, causing gas leak

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A two-car crash in downtown Kansas City, shut down several blocks in the crossroads district and caused an evacuation of an apartment building.

It turns out it was all part of a crime spree that ended at that location. FOX 4's Shannon O'Brien was at the scene of that crash at 18th and Locust.

A gas line was ruptured in this accident, and that's what caused the evacuation. Police have towed the cars, but the significant damage to the building remains.

Police said this was the end of a crime spree that terrorized people on the east side of downtown.

It all started at 11 a.m. Monday with an armed robbery at a gas station at Admiral and the Paseo. Police said the robbers then carjacked someone at a nearby hotel and took off in a green Mustang.

Police tried to pull the car over, but the driver took off, running through the intersection at 18th and Locust, hitting a silver Prius, sending it crashing into a building.

"All of the sudden we felt the building shake," said artist Jason Harrington.

"Heard kind of a large bang and got wafted into my building, like felt it," said resident Ashley Krull.

 

People who live in the 504 building are mostly artists, and were home working when the crash happened.

"I looked outside and saw cops approaching with their guns drawn, I was like we need to get outside to see this," Harrington said.

"They were arresting some folks and taking some other folks to the hospital when we walked out," Krull said.

A resident took a photo of the scene right after the accident. You can see a person in hand cuffs sitting on the ground and a police officer attending to the person in the Prius.

Police said there were four people involved in the accident - three in the green Mustang, one in the Prius. All suffered minor injuries.

The building took a beating and it is not the first time.

"We had experienced a very similar sensation previous months where a car had actually hit the building before. I was like 'oh my God, I think a car hit the building again,'" Harrington explained.

In mid-September residents say a drunk driver in a corvette slammed into the building, taking out a suport beam, displacing them for five days. The 504 is a cost-ebated artists building, and no one who lives here is scared off by the accidents, but...

"I wish people would drive more safely in this area especially. I love this area very much and would not like to move, so please stop hitting our building," Krull said.

While we have not gotten the official word on the identities of anyone involved, one of the neighbors who saw the accident recognized the person driving the Prius, and says he is a priest at churches in Platte City and Weston.

Dangerous Buildings did come and inspect the building and said it's structurally sound, and residents were allowed to return. One resident said they hope the gas to come back on in the building later Monday evening.