Witness: Shooting happened before day care crash

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A witness stepped forward with new information about what he thinks might have led to cars crashing into a Kansas City daycare on Tuesday. Witnesses told FOX 4 News there was a shooting just a few blocks away from the daycare and that one of the cars trying to escape the rolling gun battle may have been the one involved in the daycare crash.

The driver, who police say, caused the crash is in his 70s, which led to some speculation on Tuesday the crash may have been related to a medical condition. But the driver's son spoke exclusively to FOX 4 saying that's not the case.

He said his dad is badly injured and still in the hospital, but he said he's actually talked to several witnesses who said his dad was driving so fast because he was trying to escape gun fire.

So far, all police will say is that the black Range Rover somehow lost control and then slammed into a silver car that was parked outside the daycare, shoving the car inside.

That crash hurt three young kids and two adults. But a witness told FOX 4 there's more to the story. He doesn't want to be identified for fear of retaliation.

The man said he was following two cars near 27th and Prospect -- a white Chevy Caprice and a rust colored Dodge Magnum -- as they were driving next to each other and talking to each other.

He could tell there was some hostility.

"I was watching what was going on, I didn't want to get caught up in what was going on," he said.

Then near 27th and Benton the man said suddenly one of those cars backed up and slammed into the side of the black Range Rover, who was just a bystander.

In video shot by FOX 4, you can actually see there is a dent on the side of the Range Rover's door. The witness says that's when shots rang out.

"They started shooting back and forth at each other," he said.

He says everyone scattered after that in a big hurry, but later when he heard about the crash at the daycare, he knew it had to be connected. He thinks the man in the Range Rover was just trying to get away from the shooting.

"That's why they was driving so fast they was trying to get out of the flurry of shots," he said, "I see that happen many times, that's what people do, you get out of there as fast as you can."

The anonymous witness said he wouldn't normally speak out about a shooting but he says he knows the elderly man who was driving the Range Rover and his family, and he doesn't want that man to be unfairly blamed.

"I didn't want him to be portrayed in a bad light," he said, "he was trying to save himself in this situation."

The Peace Keepers organization told FOX 4 some of their workers out in the neighborhood also heard shots fired shortly before the crash, seeming to confirm that a shooting did take place near the daycare.

Police told FOX 4 investigators are aware of rumors of a shooting, but they can't confirm or deny whether it was connected to the crash.

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