Blue Springs police are investigating a Wednesday night fatal shooting where a man was shot at a motel that nearby business owners say has been a persistent haven for crime.
Investigators responded to the Welcome Inn, 3300 NW Jefferson St., Wednesday evening, according to a Blue Springs Police dispatcher. A man who answered the phone at the motel said he couldn't comment.
According to media reports, the shooting happened around 8 p.m. Wednesday. A man reportedly was shot outside his Welcome Inn room and later died at an area hospital. A suspect is in custody.
Business owners in the area met earlier this year hoping to prompt the city to do more about the property where police often find stolen vehicles, neighbors find drug paraphernalia or drug users who have overdosed, said Jeff Siems, owner of Blue Springs Marine, which is next door to the Welcome Inn.
On Wednesday night, Siems heard about the deadly shooting and went to his business which had already closed at the time.
"It seemed like things were having some progress of getting better," Siems said. "But it wasn't surprising that bad things were happening next door to us. ... Police have a high presence in the area, but it's still not enough to curtail it."
The motel "is usually where crime is kind of centered around in Blue Springs."
People in the area have reported seeing piles of trash and drug paraphernalia, Siems said, adding that prostitution has also been a problem. The motel has increased security, but some problems have continued, he said.
Many residents at the motel are long-term, not nightly guests. Children live at the motel with their families and there's a bus stop at the motel, he said.
"Some people who live there are trying to fix their lives and make ends meet and better themselves," Siems said. "But unfortunately others are causing the problems. ... The most frightening thing for me is the kids have to be exposed to those things."