Blue Springs motel where deadly shooting happened no stranger to police activity

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BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. -- Wednesday night's deadly shooting at a Blue Springs motel is just the latest in a troubling history of police activity at extended stay motels in the area.

There was a two-month stretch where police responded to more then 190 calls to the Welcome Inn just off Interstate 70 in Blue Springs.

Since March there's been a community-wide push to help clear up some of those issues, but some in the area fell the progress made took a big step backward after Wednesday's shooting.

Welcome Inn Blue Springs

"It`s always been a problem," said Jeff Siems with Blue Springs Marine, a business down the road. "It just seems like it has peaks and valleys where it really peaked about two months ago, and then we started seeing some signs of improvement. And then last night was some indication that things aren`t completely resolved over there."

Prosecutors say 44-year-old Marvin Belk shot and killed Joshua McDaniel on Wednesday night at the Welcome Inn. According to court documents, Belk waited for police officers to arrive and then confessed to the crime, saying he'd made a mistake.

It's the latest in a dark history for the area's motels.

"Basically it was a free-for-all out there," Siems said. "People would be screwing around in the parking lots. You`d see a lot of illegal activity, and then they`d end up being over on our property."

Siems has spent the last 10 years operating his boat business next door to the Welcome Inn and said recent efforts to clamp down on crime had finally been successful.

"We saw a noticeable change, higher police presence," he said. "They hired their own security there overnight. "We`ve seen a lot less traffic of people wondering onto our property after hours and a lot less commotion and issues in the neighborhood."

But Siems said Wednesday's shooting was a harsh reminder of the challenges still ahead -- especially for the families stuck in the middle.

"You have the people that are down on their luck. You're bringing a lot of their families and their kids involved, and that's not something you really want your kids exposed to," Siems said.

Although plenty of work has been done, Siems said there's plenty left to do.

"I`ll give the ownership credit that they've done a great job," he said. "It seemed like the next day after the broadcast there were people getting kicked out, and there was a big shift in the type of people over there. We know they are trying. We just have to make sure they are staying diligent and keep working on the problem."

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