Aiexpress – Kansas City, Missouri Mayor Quinton Lucas has spoken out about the recent mass shooting that took place near the food court at Crown Center, which resulted in the injury of six individuals. In his address on Saturday, Jan. 20, Mayor Lucas expressed his concerns and shared his thoughts on the tragic incident.
According to Lucas, entertainment districts in Kansas City may be considered safe. However, he acknowledges the presence of a concerning issue involving young individuals who possess firearms and opt to settle their conflicts by resorting to public gun use.
“I’m currently at an event in the Power and Light District,” Lucas mentioned, “My child and wife are currently at Union Station, and we plan to meet up at Crown Center later today. Crown Center and the Plaza are considered safe areas in Kansas City. However, it’s important to note that we have had shooting incidents at Independence Center, Oak Park Mall, and more recently at Crown Center.”
The Crown Center mass shooting marks the most recent incident of gun violence in the Kansas City-metro area. It originated from a dispute between two groups, resulting in multiple individuals being shot in a public setting.
On November 13, 2023, detectives from the Overland Park Police Department were in the midst of apprehending a shoplifting suspect at Oak Park Mall. During the altercation, the suspect managed to seize an officer’s gun and discharged it, narrowly avoiding hitting a young girl who was seated in the food court.
In a recent incident, law enforcement officials apprehended a 15-year-old male suspect on September 5, 2023, in connection with a shooting on the Country Club Plaza. The unfortunate incident resulted in the injury of a 14-year-old male.
During an appearance at Light County Road Ice House by Joe’s Kansas City BBQ, KSHB 41 News asked Lucas for his message to Kansas Citians in the aftermath of the Crown Center shooting. Mayor Lucas took the opportunity to address the community’s concerns and offer his support.
“There is a concerning issue regarding the increasing number of individuals, particularly young people, who are carrying firearms and engaging in conflicts within our entertainment districts. These disputes are being resolved through the use of firearms. I have had several discussions with Chief Stacey Graves from the KCPD, who, in turn, collaborates with her counterparts in the Independence and Overland Park police departments. Our aim is to find effective solutions that prioritize safety and prevent young people from carrying firearms. We must address the escalating fights, disputes, and other activities that stem from such incidents in these areas.”
On January 18th, following the Crown Center shooting, Lucas engaged in a conversation with Vice President Kamala Harris regarding the prevention of gun violence. When asked about the key prevention strategies he gathered from their discussion that could be implemented in Kansas City, Lucas shared his insights with KSHB 41 News.
“Well, look, there are some realities to gun violence prevention that I think here, in Kansas City, can give us some level of hope. Last year, shootings were actually down in Kansas City; while homicides were up, shootings are down. So we’re seeing a negative and downward trend there, which is good for us. But, we’ve seen in many other American cities homicides drop tremendously. A lot of that relates to the work that federal agencies are doing with local governments. The vice president and I were able to talk about a few different, and I think, very important things: One, how do we make sure we’re advocating to get guns out of the hands of our young people? How are we making sure we’re teaching conflict resolution to more of our young people so you’re not having fights with teenagers spill over into shootings, whether it be at Oak Park Mall, Independence Center or Crown Center, or anywhere in our city, frankly. And then, the other thing we talked about was intimate partner violence, domestic violence. When you look at homicide spikes, tragically and unfortunately, much of it often relates to the fact that domestic violence victims are being re-victimized again and again,” he said.