Woman killed, kids hurt in crash caused by rolling gun battle - KCTV5

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Woman killed, kids hurt in crash caused by rolling gun battle

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Six children were seriously hurt and a woman is dead after they got caught up in the middle of a rolling gun battle between two other cars. Six children were seriously hurt and a woman is dead after they got caught up in the middle of a rolling gun battle between two other cars.
A woman was ejected from the SUV after colliding with a car that was involved in a gunfight with another car. (@ChiefForte via Twitter) A woman was ejected from the SUV after colliding with a car that was involved in a gunfight with another car. (@ChiefForte via Twitter)
Police said the victim that died has been identified as 30-year-old Mariana Hernandez–Gonzales of Kansas City. Police said the victim that died has been identified as 30-year-old Mariana Hernandez–Gonzales of Kansas City.
The six children - four boys and two girls ranging in age from one and a half to 10 years old - were rushed to Children's Mercy Hospital with critical injuries. The youngest boy had surgery Wednesday for internal injuries. The six children - four boys and two girls ranging in age from one and a half to 10 years old - were rushed to Children's Mercy Hospital with critical injuries. The youngest boy had surgery Wednesday for internal injuries.
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Six children are without a mother after a violent crash that left the rest of the family injured. It was caused when the family inadvertently was caught up in a rolling gun battle between two other cars.

Police identified the dead woman as 30-year-old Mariana Hernandez–Gonzales of Kansas City.

Hernandez–Gonzales’ husband, Julio, was driving the family vehicle when one of the vehicles in the gun battle crashed into their SUV. Police say one of the two cars shooting at each other ran a red light and T-boned Hernandez–Gonzales’ side of the SUV, causing them to crash.

Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forte said Hernandez–Gonzales was thrown from the front passenger’s seat because of how violent the impact was. Debris, including a car bumper, a soccer ball and children's shoes, littered the roadway. A car even knocked down a traffic light.

It started shortly before 9 p.m. Tuesday at East 9th Street and Hardesty Avenue in Kansas City.

The six children - four boys and two girls ranging in age from one and a half to 10 years old - were rushed to Children's Mercy Hospital in critical to serious condition. The youngest boy had surgery Wednesday for internal injuries. Three of the children remained in critical condition the following day, but doctors are hopeful they will all recover. 

"He’s (Julio) devastated. He can barely speak. He just cries and says, ‘Everything happened so fast,’" family friend Yesenia Arvizu said through an interpreter. “Because of someone else's actions, innocent people are the ones who pay for it. It's something I still can't take in."

Someone in the other vehicle exchanging gunfire was found shot at 9th and Hardesty and taken to the hospital in serious condition. That person was expected to be released from the hospital on Wednesday.

Kansas City police said the people in the car that T-boned Hernandez-Gonzales’ then carjacked someone at the scene and sped off. Police gave chase, which made its way into Kansas City, KS. The pursuit ended at East 18th Street and Jackson Avenue about 45 minutes later when police deployed a tire deflation device. One person was taken into custody. 

Speeds reached up to 85 mph. During the chase, officers were warned that the driver was armed with an Uzi. KCPD officers set up along Interstate 70 to stop the driver as he fled from Kansas back into Missouri.

"It hurts my heart. I mean it's really not safe out here right now," said Vanisha Welchen who lives in that area and heard the end of the chase.

Others in the community are fed up with the violence in the city.

“You've got innocent lives, babies, mother, just got ejected from her car this morning riding with her six children. It’s affecting people all over and if you think it's not affecting you, you could be the one driving down the street and end up between a rolling gun battle," said Teresa Perry, a community advocate.

KCPD Sgt. Kari Thompson said the incident is the latest example of innocent people becoming victims in senseless violence in Kansas City.

"Mothers are burying their children. Grandmothers are burying their grandchildren. This is not right," Thompson said.

She said efforts to curb crime rest with everyone.

"Every life matters, whether you live south of the river, north of the river," said Thompson. "If you are living in Kansas City, the urban core is your community. Let's not turn a blind eye to this area. Let's all come together and find out what we can do to make this stop." 

The family of Hernandez–Gonzales remains by the children’s bedsides at the hospital. They have not told any of them that their mother didn’t survive.

“It's not fair what they did, it’s not fair that, because of their problems, six kids are now without a mom," Arvizu said.

Police officials said this week that drive-by shootings this year are up about a fourth over those reported last year.

To help the family pay for their unexpected hospital and funeral costs, click here.

KCTV5's DeAnn Smith, Brandon Richard, Heather Staggers and Jeanene Kiesling contributed to this report.

Copyright 2015 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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