City leaders speak out; Sun Fresh owner promises improved security after shooting

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The day after a shooting at a KC Sun Fresh injured two, community leaders came together Tuesday to speak out against violence.

They say no one should feel unsafe doing something as simple as buying groceries.

The shooting happened Monday night at the grocery store near 31st and Prospect and sent a 15-year-old employee and a man to the hospital. Police said it was not a random shooting.

A bullet hole at the Sun Fresh Market on 31st Street and Prospect where a shooting occurred Sept. 3, 2018.

"We are better than this as a community," said Jermaine Reed, a Kansas City councilman.

The owner of the Sun Fresh said there was a security guard present when the shooting happened.

"I don't think any kind of security other than what we had would have made a difference," said John Lipari, owner of Lipari Bros Sun Fresh. "This was a personal vendetta with what happened yesterday."

According to Lipari, the security officers at Sunfresh are armed with guns. The person on duty Monday was not carrying a weapon.

"When the shooting happened, he grabbed two kids, two little kids that were standing in the open and got them out of the way," Lipari said. "He did all he could possibly do."

Moving forward, Lipari said he will increase security measures, so community members feel safe while they shop. He plans to meet with the developer of the Linwood Shopping Center on Wednesday to come up with a plan. Lipari and the developer said changes will be immediate.

"We might get some more police presence, which we don't have any right now," he said.

But Reed said more security means nothing if the community doesn't do something to change behavior of people committing senseless acts of violence.

"We have a larger problem in our community where people unfortunately do not know how to resolve their disputes by talking them out," Reed said.

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