Witnesses recount scary moments after shots fired at Plaza and manhunt ensues

KANSAS CITY, Mo -- It was a scary day for a lot of people at the County Club Plaza. Shots were fired and a 3-hour manhunt for a suspect ensued.

The incident was reported just before noon Tuesday outside the new Shake Shack near 47th and Summit streets. No one was hurt, but the fear for witnesses was strong.

"We hear those five or six shots come off, and then we see people running from the front door, which was kind of our cue I guess," said Evan Barclay, who was inside Shake Shack when the shots were fired outside of the restaurant.

Diners inside the restaurant during those tense moments got out as quickly as they could.

"We sort of sunk down for a second, but then everyone started running out the back of the restaurant," said Katie Antrainer, who was inside Shake Shack. "We followed. We were the last people to get out."

“I heard a 'pop, pop, pop.' I thought it was a car backfiring. I went to get my phone to take pictures,” said Rhonda Lake, who works at Topsy’s across the street from Shake Shack. “I went out the back, and there were three kids, and they were running towards me. I stood there and I watched them and another kid was running just go, go, go, and they ran right past me. I could have grabbed them. They took off and went that way and then I heard people yelling and screaming.”

Those kids running made it all the way to the other side of the Plaza.

One witness said he saw one of the suspects dart out of the alley behind Seville Square, across Jefferson Street, and then get hit by a car before running into the Seville Square parking garage behind Unity Temple. That witness said he saw three others follow quickly after.

Police spotted them and surrounded the garage and others in that area.

Officers initially took one person into custody around 12:30 p.m. and two others made contact with police during the search, according to police. But police continued to search for another suspect for several hours.

Tactical team officers and K-9s methodically searched every car and anywhere the suspect might have been hiding for more than three hours.

Meanwhile, across the street at Classic Cup, diners didn't know where the shots they heard came from.

"Everyone was terrified," Bridget Cady said. "I ran in the bathroom with a couple women and locked the doors."

Other people inside Classic Cup hid in the kitchen and, fearful for their lives, made calls they thought could have been their last to loved ones.

"I couldn't believe it," Gina Lobaugh said. "The first thought I had was I need to call my husband."

Some stores locked their doors and didn't let anyone inside as police searched for the shooters.

Around 3 p.m. police took that last suspect into custody.

It was the barking KCPD K-9 Unit that alerted officers guarding the parking garage at 47th and Summit that the second suspect had been found, ending a 3-hour and 15-minute manhunt.

Officers then led the suspect out to a waiting police vehicle.

“As far as I know, they are not looking for anybody else,” KCPD Capt. Lionel Colon said. “It has come to my attention that some of the other people involved were already in contact with law enforcement earlier on the front end of this event, and so there is no one else that we are looking for, no one else at large."

Investigators later collected shell casings outside of Shake Shack as worried shoppers and diners stood around the scene.

"You don't expect it to happen to you, happen to somewhere you come all the time," Evan Barclay said.

Police cleared out of the Plaza just after 3 p.m. Everything in Kansas City’s Crowned Jewel was then back to normal.

Officials from the County Club Plaza sent FOX4 this statement: "We thank the KCPD for helping us secure the Plaza and ensure our shoppers were safe, and for bringing this to a peaceful resolution.”

Shake Shack referred FOX4 to its corporate offices. We have yet to hear back.