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First Friday organizers looking at changes after deadly shooting in the Crossroads

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- After the deadly shooting at First Friday in the Crossroads, the event's organizers are coming up with new ways to keep attendees safe.

Kansas City Police say 25-year-old Erin Langhofer was an innocent bystander who died in the shooting.

Chair of First Friday Jeff Owens said he is exploring the idea of scaling back the times for First Friday.

Right now, food trucks and some vendors clear out around 10 p.m. or 11p.m. He's considering a closing time of around 9 p.m.

Owens said he's also looking into a curfew for people under the age of 18. He said the vacant lots that people congregate in should be filled with more police officers.

Some longtime business owners in the Crossroads said they’ve noticed a change in the crowds at First Friday and sensed there could, eventually, be trouble.

“Last year I was fortunate to take a walk with a friend of mine during First Fridays,” said Anton Kotar, owner of Anton’s at 16th and Main. “I was blown away at how it had changed.”

Kotar supports a youth curfew for First Friday and urges anyone who spots trouble to report it immediately.

“These kids are coming here, and they are carrying firearms, and their friends know that,” Kotar said. “And why is this happening? It never ends good, right? There’s never a good ending to that.”

Owens wants to hear feedback and suggestions from the community before any changes happen.

"Our goal is to increase it, tighten it up a little bit, increase the safety and keep the same fabulous atmosphere that we've had for the last 20 years," Owens said.

About 30,000 people usually attend First Friday during the summer.

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