Shooting after community center pick-up game, suspends program - KCTV5 News


Shooting puts Westport basketball program on hold

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A shooting after a pickup basketball game has forced a community center to suspend play while it makes security improvements.

It all sparked from a fight during a basketball game at the Westport Roanoke Community Center. Police said a group of men were playing in the center's adult league program for Tuesday pickup games. One man had a hard foul against another player which sparked a fight that spilled out into the furthest parking lot from the center.

At that point, a parks and recreation manager told KCTV5 News he believes a couple of the men grabbed guns from their cars and started firing at each other. One man was injured when he was shot in the thigh.

Close to 30 shots were fired, some hitting nearby vehicles.

The incident happened while a pottery class was going on inside the Westport Roanoke Community Center and people were exercising inside.

Managers have suspended the adult basketball program until they decide on new safety measures to be sure people feel comfortable coming back to the center.

"We do look to put things in place to make sure that, when they do return – and some did say, 'what are you going to do?' - we told them. They said, 'fine, we'll be back on Tuesday for pottery,'" Mark Bowland, Kansas City, MO, community services manager, said. "So we know and they know their safety is the No. 1 issue that we want to address."

Some of the measures center managers are looking at are bringing in some off-duty police officers to be present during the adult basketball league as well as some private security guards. They also are discussing bringing in some anti-violence programs in the community, like AIM for Peace, to offer some programs of that nature at the center. A final thing they're discussing is obtaining copies of people's IDs when they come to the center so they can keep copies filed away and will always have an accurate idea of who is at the center at what times.

Managers for the Westport Roanoke Community Center said Tuesday's incident was isolated and emphasized that a lot of good also goes on at the center – good that they want to be sure to safeguard.

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