Gun violence on 71 Highway has drivers and Kansas City police concerned

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- So far this year, there have been more than a half dozen shootings on 71 Highway in Kansas City.

Police said last Saturday, a 22-year-old man and another driver flashed their lights at each other, repeatedly honked and then both shot at each other.

Investigators say the suspect first fired twice at the victim near 27th Street and 71 Highway. The victim -- a state public safety officer -- then shot back four times before calling 911. Neither driver was hurt.

On Sunday afternoon, a man told police he traveled north on 71 Highway near 39th Street when a driver "cut him off." The victim said when he pulled beside the man in the other car, the driver shot him on his right side. The victim drove himself to a hospital.

"We've had two shootings in the last week here on 71 Highway where it appears the victims and the suspect did not know each other prior to that,” KCPD Sgt. Jake Becchina said.

Then, on Tuesday afternoon, a man was driving a green sports car down Prospect near 71 Highway when another man shot him and sped off.

"I think it's more than crazy," Iliana Santana said.

She's just one of many drivers now talking about the gun violence on the popular metro highway.

”It makes me worried because I live around that area, and I jump on that highway all the time. I mean, an innocent person can get caught in crossfire and get hurt or even killed,” Santana said.

Thanksgiving is a week away and, of course, that means more drivers will be on the traveling on 71 Highway.

"Nothing’s safe at all," said neighbor Jane Wilson who's also concerned about drivers' safety.

"This is the best holiday to come around and enjoy with your family, and if you don’t get a chance to do that, that’s just messed up," Wilson said.

"It’s a lot safer to pull off the highway and call 911. We absolutely do no recommend drivers taking things into their own hands escalating any violence. We tell them if they’re in a suspicious situation or a road rage incident to try to pull off to a well lit place like a gas station and immediately call us so we can investigate what’s going on," Becchina said.