Shooting in Westport area kills 20-year-old woman, sparks call for action

Following a deadly Westport shooting Thursday night, leaders in KC are calling for action.
Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 9:12 PM CST
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - The third shooting in Westport since July and Kansas City’s 15th homicide for the year has people weighing in on what Kansas City should be doing differently.

Westport is a destination for many on a sunny day but not everyone feels safe returning for the nightlife in the district. Thursday night’s shooting in a parking lot left some feeling unsettled.

“I’ve definitely avoided Westport after dark,” said Denee Compton.

“I do feel safer during the day,” added Brian Compton.

The district has made strides in recent years, implementing security checks and other measures to reduce violent crimes. But some visitors don’t think that’s enough.

“Boots on the ground, actual patrol officers, we don’t actually have enough,” said Denee Compton.

In August, the city joined a collaborative effort designed to reduce crimes like this one. Melesa Johnson works with partners for peace, which provides resources and support to victims of violent crimes and their families as a way of preventing retaliatory violence. In just a few months they’ve helped more than 150 families.

“We must all work together in partnership with our police department,” Johnson said. “It’s up to us as residents to make sure we have an ownership over finding solutions.”

Mayor Quinton Lucas also tweeted about the incident, calling for better lighting and security near private businesses and parking lots. He also said:

“It is also time to close the World Market parking lot to vehicles at night and to instead program the space. Access to firearms stored in vehicles there continues to be an impediment to area safety.”

“I think there’s merit to doing that as a solution but I think that may just push the problem to a different area,” Denee Compton said. “I think kansas city has a lot of exciting things coming for us in the next couple of years. I think it would be a shame to overshadow it with troubles like crime, and things like that.”

Many in Kansas City just want to put a stop to crimes like these.

Partners for Peace says they’re partnering with KCPD to reach out to the family of the woman who died last night.