Police, ambulances converge after 2 shot near KCK community cent - KCTV5

Gang dispute likely sparked triple shooting near community center

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KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) -

Three teens were shot Monday afternoon near the Joe E. Amayo Sr. Argentine Community Center.

The three suffered minor injuries and will be OK, KCK police said. The shooting did not occur at the community center, but the injured sought help there, police said.

Police believe the shooters were also teens. Those shot and those suspected of firing the shots have gang affiliations and an arrest has been made, police said.

This occurred just before 5:30 p.m. Monday. The community center is at 2810 Metropolitan Ave. and it remained operational, a municipal spokesman said.

A vehicle owned by a man who lives nearby saw at least one bullet pierce a window from the gunfire. Homes were struck by bullets.

Tony Talevera said the area is normally quiet, so he was surprised when a bullet struck his father's vehicle.

"Pow! Pow! Pow! Next thing I know, I see a bullet whiz by and go right through my dad's window," he said. "This is the first time it's ever happened here."

The shots were fired about a block from the community center.  The three youths were walking when the occupants of a gold SUV opened fire, police said.

The SUV believed to be involved in the shooting was towed from 13th Street and Central Avenue on Tuesday.

As the gunfire rang out, the victims ran for their lives, with one of them hopping a fence near the home of Anthony Talevera, father of Tony Talevera.

"They were kids, teenagers just 13, 14, 15 years old," he recalled. "And they were running like crazy."

A bullet struck the siding of the man's home. Three bullets hit a neighbor's home.

Residents spent Monday removing the shattered  glass and replacing windows. The gunfire has unsettled residents.

"We are close, like family," Monica DeLeon said. "I'd hate to see anything else like that happen because someone is going to get hurt."

Victor Hernandez, vice president of the neighborhood association, said the teens had just left the community center where they had performed community service work. Residents are concerned that those teens had violent convictions in juvenile court or gang affiliations that led to the community service and being in a neighborhood that they would not normally be in.

These issues were raised with community police officers at a regularly scheduled neighborhood meeting at 27th and Strong streets at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Residents are especially upset after another shooting happened near 26th and Strong Wednesday afternoon, which was just a block from the community center. Two men went into a surplus store to buy ski masks when a pickup pulled up and someone inside began to shoot at them.

The white truck sped away, and no one was hit by the bullets. 

Police are reviewing surveillance video for more information.

Residents are worried that innocent bystanders watching TV inside their home can be struck by stray bullets.

Mario Escobar, president of Villa Argentine neighborhood association, said community police officers, regular police officers and neighbors must work together "to get to the bottom of this."

"It's a major concern of innocent bystanders getting hit," Escobar said.

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