Independence Center extends 3 p.m. teen curfew to seven days a week after parking lot shooting

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — After another violent incident on Independence Center property, the local mall will extend its new teen curfew to every day of the week.

Management issued a statement Monday night saying the 3 p.m. curfew for minors that initially only applied on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays will now apply seven days a week, effective Tuesday, Jan. 5.

That means minors 17 or younger must be accompanied by a parent or guardian after 3 p.m. to be inside the mall every day. You can read Independence Center’s full statement at the bottom of this story.

The decision comes after a shooting occurred in the parking lot of the Independence mall on Monday afternoon.

People in two vehicles were shooting at each other, police said, ending with one person shot in the head. The injury was non-life threatening. Investigators say more than 30 shots were fired.

Independence police are still looking for one of the vehicles involved in the shooting, described as a dirty black Chrysler 300 sedan. Detailed descriptions of the person shot and suspects haven’t been given yet.

The Monday afternoon shooting was the third incident at the mall in the last nine days to prompt a large police presence.

 On New Year’s Eve, shoppers described moments of chaos as echoes of gunfire rang out when a 16-year-old boy was shot inside Foot Locker. 

On Dec. 26, up to 500 unaccompanied teens were involved in several fights in the mall. That’s what prompted mall management to put the 3 p.m. curfew in place on weekends.

In November 2019, a big mall brawl damaged property and a police car. Teens took food off customer’s tables. Then in October 2020, there was another fight reportedly involving 300 juveniles.

At that point, a 9 p.m. teen curfew was established in the area and the city said parents would be issued citations for youth who didn’t comply. The 3 p.m. curfew doesn’t carry the same legal ramifications.

Read Independence Center’s full statement here:

“Recently, there has been a string of unfortunate incidents associated with Independence Center. Please know that we are teaming up with the city and the police department to help curb these issues so Independence Center can remain a nice place to come with your family to shop and play.

“Ownership is aware and has given permission to hire more security and off-duty police officers. We take these issues very seriously and will spare no expense.

“We have implemented a new curfew regarding unsupervised teenagers on the weekends when we typically have the most issues. Effective tomorrow morning, this rule will be 7 days a week. No unsupervised minors 17 or younger will be allowed in the mall without a parent or legal guardian after 3 PM.

“We are hoping with these new measures, we can go back to ‘the new normal’ quickly. We understand that Independence Center is vital to the city and surrounding communities for many reasons including providing hundreds of jobs, and we understand the revenue that this mall creates is very vital.

“What has happened here is a multifaceted problem that has been exacerbated by the global pandemic. We want to keep Independence Center a clean, vibrant, and safe place. We are asking the public along with the police department to continue to support us through these tough times. If you know something — say something.

We need community involvement to keep Independence Center a nice place to shop and play.”

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