Police investigating shots fired outside of Shake Shack on the Plaza
A gunman opened fire on a car in the Country Club Plaza Tuesday, setting off a massive police search as people in the sunbathed shopping district were warned to stay inside.
Shortly before 3 p.m. police found the last suspect hiding in a parking garage near 47th Street and Summit streets, bringing the three-hour drama to an end without any more shooting.
No one was reported to be injured in the incident, according to Capt. Lionel Colón, a Kansas City Police Department spokesman.
Shortly before noon, witnesses heard five gunshots near the corner of 47th and Central streets. Police said the shooting appeared to be a targeted attack after a dispute between two groups of men.
No one was hit by the bullets, but the gunfire startled witnesses.
“It’s crazy,” said Chris Williams, who was inside the front entry of a restaurant near the shooting. “It’s The Plaza. It’s like 12:45 or 12 on a Tuesday afternoon. This isn’t supposed to happen. It’s surreal.”
After hearing the shots, Williams peeked out of the doorway to see, but only fearfully. Three men in a black Jetta on the corner had been fired upon, he said. Williams saw an officer in an unmarked car arrive on the scene almost immediately and draw his weapon on the men in the car.
The driver followed orders to get out of the car and raised his shirt to show he was unarmed, Williams said.
Meanwhile, Rhonda Lake stepped out of a business just south of the shooting and saw three men running past her down the street.
“They were so close I could have grabbed one of them,” she said. “One of them was shouting, ‘Hurry up! Hurry up! Go! Go! Go!’”
While officers arrived at the shooting scene, another swarm of police vehicles raced to the parking garages to the west, on Summit, where one suspect was quickly apprehended and a search began for another. Black-vested officers with rifles stalked the area along with officers leading police dogs.
About 2:50 p.m. dog barks sounded from the parking garage on the southwest corner of 47th and Summit. Minutes later, Capt. Colón, the police spokesman, reported that the last suspect was in custody.
Other people involved in the incident had been in contact with police, he said. The threat was over.
“Thank everyone on the Plaza for their patience,” Colón said.
Businesses on the Plaza issued a joint statement Tuesday after police issued the all-clear.
“We thank the KCPD for helping us secure The Plaza and ensure our shoppers were safe, and for bringing this to a peaceful resolution,” the statement said.
Most of the shopping district had remained open during the search and investigation. The Shake Shack, near where the shooting happened, was temporarily shut down while police investigated.
As the search continued, people were allowed to walk the sidewalks, and most streets were not blocked. Police did, however, block intersections and locked down buildings around the parking garages where the suspect ultimately surrendered without incident.
“The individual was found in the parking garage,” Colón said. “He surrendered when he heard the dogs barking and saw our officers.”