Four people were killed and another person was wounded Tuesday within three hours in separate shootings across the Kansas City metro area, according to police.
The first shooting fatally wounded 15-year-old Kaden Bauswell just before noon near an elementary school in Kansas City, Kansas, forcing the building into lockdown.
Officers responded to the report of shots fired in the 6600 block of Cleveland Avenue. The gunfire was not on school grounds, but was near Hazel Grove Elementary School.
The school is hosting a half-day summer program. Police said students were inside at the time.
Across the state line, Kansas City officers responded around 1:35 p.m. to the 3500 block of Independence Avenue, where they found a gunshot victim. That person has since died, police said. The victim was later identified as 52-year-old Jose Lugo.
“The suspect approached the victim, shot the victim and then fled in an unknown direction,” said Capt. Leslie Foreman, describing the suspect as a man.
“As always, it’s just tragic,” Foreman told reporters along Independence Avenue, saying the city has “way too many” killings.
About 20 minutes later, a separate shooting left two people wounded — one with injuries considered to be life-threatening — near East 52nd Street and Euclid Avenue, according to police.
Those victims were taken to a hospital, but one later died. He was identified as 30-year-old Lavance Jones. The other suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
Roughly half an hour later, a juvenile was taken to a hospital about 2:40 p.m. after being shot near East 109th Street and Sycamore Terrace, police said. That victim, identified as 15-year-old Terrell Bell,has also since died.
That shooting happened outside near Sycamore Park. Foreman, the police spokeswoman, said children who hear and see violence are the ones traumatized the most.
“They don’t know how to process this. They just want to play and feel safe,” Foreman said.
The homicides marked the 65th, 66th and 67th this year in Kansas City, according to data maintained by The Star. By this time in 2020, there had been 84 killings. Last year marked the deadliest ever in the city.
The homicide in Kansas City, Kansas, marked the city’s 11th killing of the year. By this time last year, there had been 23 killings in Kansas City, Kansas.
Mayor Quinton Lucas reacted to the shootings and said there needed to be a change across the metro.
“My thoughts are with all victims,” Lucas said in a statement on Twitter. “Region-wide, we can’t keep just doing the same thing.”
In response to the shootings, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker tweeted that Kansas City needs “strategies to reduce violence rather than just quick response times and capable staff at local ERs.”
Kansas City police asked anyone with information to call the homicide unit at 816-234-5043 or the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
The Star’s Angela Cordoba Perez and Bill Lukitsch contributed to this story.