KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A day after two police officers were shot in separate incidents, Mayor Quinton Lucas said he was astonished by the increase of violent crime in just this past week alone.
“First of all, my prayers are going out to the officers injured, their family and everyone on the Kansas City Police Department,” Lucas said in an interview with FOX4. “Yesterday shows the challenge of the job.”
First, a robbery at a bus stop late in the morning led to a shooting onboard a KCATA bus. The robbery suspect shot the police officer who tried to get on and then shot the bus driver. Both had non-life-threatening injuries.
Later in the day, police were called to 31st and Van Brunt on reports of a man waving a gun around in a parking lot. When officers arrived, the man shot one in the head. Police then shot and killed the shooter. The officer was listed in critical condition.
“I think right now, we have an epidemic of gun violence in our community,” Lucas said. “This is a trying time.”
When asked how the city needs to approach crime, Lucas said some of his policy, like decreasing minor crime offenses, work toward building up the community.
“I have worked very hard to, I think, come up with calm solutions that can build public trust… but there’s some people who need serious punishment,” he said.
Lucas referenced a shooting where a 4-year-old was killed while inside an apartment. He also mentioned shootings involving young people in Kansas City, Kansas and Raytown this past week.
“It’s astonishing really that our victims are getting younger, that our assailants are getting younger. We’ve got to start earlier,” Lucas said.
He said he talked to Governor Mike Parson about the violence last night. He also said the issue is bipartisan, and that Republicans and Democrats alike want to see change.
“Black lives matter, I believe that,” Lucas said. “But 4-year-old lives matter, police officers’ lives matter and our community matters, and we have got to get a handle on them.”
Shootings referenced in Mayor Lucas’ interview
- Police identify 4-year-old boy killed in apartment shooting near near 63rd and The Paseo
- Police identify 2 separate KCK shooting victims, including 15-year-old
- Two men charged in connection to Raytown shooting that killed teen