KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A 14-year-old is recovering after being shot by a 15-year-old on the Country Club Plaza Saturday night.
The teen police say is responsible for the shooting is behind bars. This shooting comes just two months after a restaurant in the area changed its hours over the weekend due to safety concerns.
“We are no longer living in a time where crime is just a specific demographic of people’s problem in a specific area of the city. Nobody is immune,” Melesa Johnson, Mayor Quinton Lucas’s Director of Public Safety, said.
“I fear for the safety of pedestrians and just people down here wanting to enjoy the Plaza, and I have teenage sons that I would not feel comfortable with them down here after 6 p.m.,” Kristen Schreiner, a Plaza shopper said.
Another day, another incident where the safety of people visiting the Country Club Plaza is looms large.
“It’s absolutely terrible. I moved to Minneapolis almost 30 years ago, but even compared to what the Plaza is now compared to when I was a youngster has completely changed,” Mike Schreiner, another Plaza shopper, said.
“It hits me to my core. Any loss of life, potential or actual, so a homicide or non-fatal shooting is a tough moment. It’s particularly devastating when it involves babies in many ways,” Johnson said.
This all happened after an off-duty KCPD officer heard the sound of shots. When they responded to the area, they found a 14-year-old who had a gunshot wound.
They arrested a15-year-old who they say is the shooter, taking the gun and the car he was in as well.
“We can no longer turn a blind eye to the literal extinction of generations of young Black men. This is what we’re up against,” Johnson said.
Just over two months ago, Shake Shack on the Plaza closed its lobby after 5 p.m. on the weekends due to safety concerns.
Last year, Starbucks left the Plaza after store leadership had its own worries about security in and around this area.
All of this is occurring as the city continues to shoulder a homicide rate that throughout the year has outpaced the deadliest year we’ve ever seen back in 2020.
“You have to pay attention to the numbers right? Because they continue to frame the issue. It’s never been as bad as it is now, especially for our young people,” Johnson said.
FOX4 sought comment from Plaza leadership, but they said they have nothing to share at this time.
Johnson pointed to the ordinances introduced by Mayor Lucas earlier this year, where the law in Kansas City now makes the purchase or transfer of ammunition illegal for those under the age of 18, and bans switches that turn guns into automatic weapons
While these things are already against the law on the federal level, the measures give local law enforcement the ability to enforce these laws.