KANSAS CITY, Mo — The Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating a shooting in Westport involving three off-duty Kansas City police officers.
According to officials, one person is dead and five were injured in the incident outside Ale House near 41st Street and Broadway Boulevard.
The highway patrol, which is now leading the investigation, said a fight broke out around 11 p.m. inside Ale House that spilled out into the street. That’s when multiple shots were fired.
Three off-duty KCPD officers who were working at Ale House returned fire, but it’s unclear if anyone was struck by the officers’ gunfire.
MSHP is investigating where all the bullets originated and if the officers hit who they intended.
For witnesses who were at the bar Sunday night, it was pure chaos as round after round of gunfire was fired.
“We went to bed around 10:30 and woke up at 11 to gunshots,” one witness who lives across the street said. “It sounded like 20 plus rounds. I freaked out, obviously got out of bed. There was some people on the ground, lots of chaos for people that were around the area that witnessed it.”
“Crazy, like the entire situation was — came out of nowhere. You can never expect something like that to happen,” said Quentin Guerra who was inside Ale House at the time of the shooting.
One minute music was playing as he enjoyed a night out with friends; the next he was taking cover as bullets flew.
“When I saw everybody else start hitting the floor, that’s when I obviously knew what was going on,” Guerra said.
Six people were shot in all, including a Westport security officer that was hurt. One person died, and the other five victims suffered non-life threatening injuries.
Officials have not released any information on the person who died or any suspects in this incident.
MSHP Sgt. Bill Lowe said Ale House had precautions in place with security, but he said you can’t predict everything that’s going to happen.
“I think we do need to look at how many 3 a.m. bars do we have within the Westport area, how many of those are over capacity at times?” said District 4 City Councilman Eric Bunch.\
“We have a lot of great programs that are chronically underfunded, including our very own health department that has a great program called Aim For Peace,” he said. “We underfund those things and I think as a city we need to be putting more money into those efforts.”
Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas responded to the incident on social media:
With multiple police officers and security guards present, we still saw a shoot out on the streets of our city. The easy access to guns and the total lack of safeguards in our state to keep people from carrying them almost anywhere continues to put our people at risk each day.Mayor Lucas
The incident has certainly shaken Guerra.
“Seeing that in person is kind of hard to process. Watching somebody else get their life taken away from them is never an easy thing to go through,” he said.
Still, he’s simply happy to be alive but said he might think twice about going out in the neighborhood again.
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