A former south Kansas City man pleaded guilty Tuesday to a string of random highway shootings in 2014 that struck fear into the hearts of motorists.
Mohammed Whitaker, 30, will be sentenced to 30 years in prison after admitting to 10 counts of unlawful use of a weapon by firing at a motor vehicle and 10 related counts of armed criminal action.
Most of the shootings happened in the Three Trails Crossing Area of south Kansas City in March and April of 2014, and two of them wounded motorists. The case of the “highway shooter” drew national attention until Whitaker’s arrest in his Grandview apartment.
“Today, our community can rest knowing that the person who terrorized them in 2014 on our freeways will be sent to prison for a 30-year-sentence,” Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said in a prepared statement. “...it was a good day today to pass on the news of Whitaker’s plea to the dedicated law enforcement personnel who spent countless sleepless and stress-filled hours, day and night, bringing this man to justice. We all owe them a great deal of thanks and appreciation.”
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Evidence in the case linked the shootings to a .380-caliber weapon and police found a handgun of that caliber in Whitaker’s apartment. Kansas City officers trailed Whitaker for about a week before his arrest, gathering evidence and observing him driving aggressively and stalking potential victims.