String of 71 Highway shootings concern commuters around the metro

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Thousands of people drive 71 Highway every day. But at least six times in the past nine months drivers on a stretch of 71 Highway from Bannister Road to 29th Street have been shot. Two people have been killed.

Police say those shooting appear to have targeted. However, that doesn’t make the shootings any less senseless for commuters.

"I can't answer why crazy people do what they do, but I think everybody should be concerned about it and it's not just a Kansas City issue, everybody drives
down 71, so it's a major issue for everybody," driver Curtis Walker said.

Police are concerned too. They know what could have happened in that apparent exchange of gunfire near the 39th Street off-ramp Tuesday that left one man dead.

“At 6 p.m. on 71 Highway, that’s still the end of rush hour, so there are a lot of cars on the highway at that time. Thankfully no one else was injured,” Kansas City Police Officer Darin Snapp said.

Stephanie Green and Natoya Jones were both driving home from work with their kids shortly after bullets flew on the highway.

"It makes me angry when you are a parent you have to think about more than yourself," Green said.

"I think they should think about everyone else that's driving innocent bystanders," Jones said.

“There’s no way we can actually prevent this type of thing, just hoping people’s morals will kick in and they won’t go down that highway shooting at each other,” Officer Snapp said.

While some drivers say the shootings have them rethinking their commute, others say they realize it can happen anywhere.

"There's other ways to go, but it's the same thing when we talk about terrorism; you can't let it define how you go about your everyday life," Walker said.

A highway shooter responsible for terrorizing drivers in the Grandview Triangle area in 2014 was sentenced a few months ago. Police point out the most recent shootings have multiple suspects usually involved in disagreements with their victims.

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