KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Neighbors in at least three metro communities say gun violence is getting too close for comfort. Shootouts hit homes and vehicles in Hyde Park, Grandview and Overland Park this weekend.
Kansas City has already surpassed last year’s record-setting pace for murders, with 50 killings in just four months. And that’s just a piece of the gun violence problem. Shot spotter devices have picked up 650 gunshots in Kansas City this year. Some say they are becoming numb to the sound of gunfire in their neighborhoods, and they just want it to stop.
Bright pink circles dot an Overland Park neighborhood near 151st & Lamar, making the spot of dozens of shell casings recovered in a weekend shootout.
“I didn’t dare get up to look outside. I could be shot,” said neighbor Jimmy Flippin.
Overland Park Police said a party at a short-term rental property in the neighborhood got out of hand. Gunfire erupted in the street, with at least two cars being riddled with bullets.
Some neighbors told FOX4 they hit the floor or froze in fear.
“I didn’t know whether to move or not. I was like, God, I hope that’s the last of that,” Flippin said.
In Kansas City, a shooting that started at a gas station at 38th & Broadway kept going with bullets rapidly firing into the neighborhood.
A woman who lives nearby shared photos of bullets piercing a window, wall, and the front door of her home.
Eric Grooms lives a block over and has gotten used to hearing shots. But this weekend’s incident was such heavy gunfire, many in the area were rattled.
“That’s terrible that’s happening and I feel for the people that are involved, especially the ones not perpetrating it, maybe just bystanders, people who live nearby that are just in the path of whatever’s happening…It’s such an unfortunate situation,” Grooms said.
Grooms says he sees routine police patrols during the day but almost none at night.
He’d like to see that presence increase and believes without everyone raising concerns with local leaders, the problem will only get worse.
“It’s not going to change until we look in our own souls as a nation and think about what’s the root causes of this and what can we do that make it better,” Grooms said.
Police are still looking for suspects in several of these shooting incidents.
Video surveillance can often be a huge help and recently helped Belton Police to arrest a suspect accused of shooting into homes and vehicles.
Many area police departments, including KCPD, encourage anyone with cameras to register them, helping police quickly find footage and identify suspects when these incidents happen.