Press conference scheduled in highway shootings arrest

04/18/2014 1:12 PM

04/18/2014 1:12 PM

Kansas City police raided a Grandview residence Thursday afternoon and arrested a man suspected in the series of shootings on area roadways that injured three people and put drivers on edge for nearly two weeks.

Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Fort announced the arrest in a late afternoon tweet and said more details will be released at a news conference at 1 today.

Neighbors said several dozen officers, some wearing tactical gear, descended on a fourplex in the 6000 block of East 136th Street about 5:40 p.m. They arrested a man who appeared to be in his 20s.

The residence is just east of Interstate 49 and south of the Three Trails Crossing area where seven shootings occurred.

After arresting the man, police executed a search warrant at the residence. Authorities also towed away a dark green Dodge Neon with an Illinois license plate.

Fort said at a news briefing later Thursday night that he could not provide the man’s name or more details but that he wanted to let people know that an arrest had been made.

“We want to make sure the residents and those who travel through Kansas City know that they are safe,” he said.

He emphasized that no charges had been filed and that the investigation was ongoing. He thanked other local and federal law enforcement agencies that assisted in the investigation, and he praised the way the community had “stepped up” to help investigators make an arrest.

“Without the people in this community, we wouldn’t be where we are,” the chief said.

Sources said that undercover officers had been following the man since last week after information began pointing to him.

Officers recovered some helpful evidence at 103rd Street and Grandview Road on April 9 after they shut down traffic and scoured the area, including ditches, for shell casings.

Investigators also used technology, plus tips from the public, to home in on the man.

The accumulation of all the information broke the case open, not one single thing, said Capt. Tye Grant, the department’s spokesman.

“We got a lot of tips, and those tips were important,” he said. “It was also incredible work by law enforcement officers. They just didn’t give up. You’ve got a lot of officers who haven’t slept in weeks.”

Investigators put the pieces together “until it led to something,” Grant said.

Neighbors said the man kept to himself and would come and go at odd hours of the night.

“The dude was like a ghost,” said neighbor Kevin Cooksey. “In and out. I’m just glad they got him.”

Cooksey said the man would drive up in the car at night, turn out the lights and sit inside without getting out.

The shooting incidents began March 8, and the last confirmed shooting believed to be connected to the case was reported on April 6.

Authorities said they had linked 12 shootings. Most occurred in Kansas City, but others were reported in Blue Springs, Lee’s Summit and Leawood. Bullets struck three people but did not cause life-threatening injuries.