Shooting at historic Jazz District injures 3, 1 critically - KCTV5

Shooting at historic Jazz District injures 3, 1 critically

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Three people were treated at area hospitals after numerous shots were fired into an outdoor party at the 18th and Vine Historic Jazz District early Saturday.

One person suffered critical injuries while the other two are expected to be OK.

The shots were reported about 3:30 a.m. near 19th Street and Highland Avenue.

"I heard about 20 gunshot rounds," said one neighbor who didn't want to be identified.

Authorities say that a car with two people inside drove up and an argument broke out. Shots were fired into the crowd.

According to neighbors, the victims were two men and a woman. One man and woman were shot in the leg. The man with critical injuries was shot in the back.

"I heard someone screaming. For someone named Ricky and I looked off my patio and saw him lying in the street," the neighbor said.

The neighbor said he's been living in the area for about a year, but he's never seen this type of violence.

"It was terrifying, really terrifying, and normally the neighborhood is really quiet. There's not much activity going on here," he said.

The neighbor said he's now planning on taking precautions to make sure he's not the next victim.

"I have to stay inside more often and stay protected because you never know what's going on," he said. "I'm definitely considering moving from my apartment. My lease is ready to be up at the end of the month and I'm definitely considering it."

An ambulance rushed the person with life-threatening injuries to the hospital while the other two were taken to the hospital in private vehicles.

The Jazz District is one of Kansas City's most historically significant neighborhoods so for an act of violence to happen in it strikes close to the heart of the city.

"(The intersection at) 18th and Vine has never been dangerous. It was always, and still is, a cultural Mecca," said Alvin Brooks, with the Ad Hoc Group Against Crime.

Brooks knows the area's rich history and importance to the city. It was a part of his beat as a former officer with the Kansas City Police Department.

Saturday's shooting isn't the first the Jazz District has seen in recent months. Within the past year multiple shooting have been reported in the area near the Mutual Musicians Foundation at 18th Street and Highland Avenue. The latest incident happened as people were leaving a party and not at any of the jazz venues in the neighborhood.

Children's groups, like the Kansas City Boy's Choir, come to rehearse at venues like the Mutual Musicians Foundation.

Ah'lee Robinson says he still feels safe bringing students into the neighborhood even though Saturday's shooting was just around the corner.

"It is a great, great experience for them to be here. It is full of history. When we started practicing here three (or) four years ago it was a very eerie feeling. All the greats have played here," Robinson said.

Brooks says the neighborhood is a haven for artistic camaraderie, but the deeper issue is a chronic problem with gun violence in all of Kansas City.

"We should understand that violence has become somewhat of a past time in America. Particularly because of guns," he said.

Brooks and the Ad Hoc Group hope someone will come forward with information about the recent shooting. Police have not arrested any suspects.

"All this is important to our community and to our society. We have to learn that we have to be our brothers' and our sisters' keepers. That means going the extra mile to help them when they're in distress or in need," he said.

If you have any information, call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS.

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