‘It didn’t shock me’: Riders and KCATA respond to homicide at bus stop near Walmart along 40 Highway

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. - At least one person is dead following a double shooting at the border of Kansas City and Independence Sunday afternoon. It happened at a bus stop. A place Independence police say they get called to daily.

The bus stop sits next to a McDonald’s, at the intersection of Highway 40 and Interstate 70. A sign right next to it announces the Blue Ridge Crossing Shopping Center, advertising a Lowe’s and a Walmart.

Joe Burgin calls himself a frequent bus rider. He often uses the bus to do his shopping at Walmart.

“It’s like, ‘hurry up, come on bus, come’,” he described Sunday. “Because you know you’ve got all kinds of different people, so when there’s all kinds of people hanging out, drinking or getting high, there always tends to be some type of problem.”

Sunday’s double shooting had one victim hit by the bus stop, and another in the parking lot of the McDonald’s. Police did not have a suspect description.

Burgin drove to the shopping center Sunday.

“I pulled up and they had this all taped off,” he explained. “It didn’t shock me, when I seen it, because there’s always something going on.”

Maybe not always but Independence Police Assistant Public Information Officer Jodi Grooms told FOX4 officers respond to the area daily. Though she said rarely is it for a scene as dangerous, or large, as Sunday’s double shooting.

“There’s just a lot of people coming through here,” she explained. “And when you have a lot of people in the area, there tends to be a lot more trouble.”

The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority knows the area, and trouble, as well. Cindy Baker with KCATA told FOX4 that the bus stop is known for having a lot of people congregating around it, though not nearly as many people get on the bus.

On Sunday, Baker said as many as 30 people were on that bus when the shooting happened. The bus was stuck between crime scene tape, and riders had to wait for another bus to come take over the route.

The bus stayed behind because KCATA buses have multiple surveillance cameras. Some are inside the bus, others are outside. Baker said a passing car appeared to be part of the shooting, and the bus’s cameras may have caught it. Baker also said it does not look like anyone on the bus was targeted.

KCATA has two transit police who can respond in Kansas City. However, the organization operates 5,000 stops across five metro counties. When security issues arise, it calls law enforcement for the municipality where the stop is located. KCATA says it has a good relationship with the Independence Police Department, and those officers patrol the bus stop at Blue Ridge Crossing regularly.

Blue Ridge Crossing is a retail area, and many businesses have cameras. The Independence Police Department said it will use surveillance video for its investigation.

Anyone with information are being asked to please call the Independence Police Department at 816-325-7300 or the TIPS Hotline at
816-474-TIPS (8477).

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