KCPD officer shoots man firing into Westport crowd

A man shooting into a crowd of people in Westport was shot by a police officer early Sunday, according to Kansas City police.

Police officers were patrolling an area near 40th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue about 2:40 a.m. when they observed a man shooting into a crowd of people.

An officer fired his weapon at the suspect, who was shot and transported to the hospital in critical condition.

The sound of the gunfire was captured on a nearby resident’s home security video camera.

Shortly after, Jackson County deputies in the area stopped a vehicle fleeing the scene of the shooting. Inside were two male victims suffering from gunshot wounds.

Police believe the two men, who were transported to the hospital in stable condition, were shot by the suspect. The suspect’s gun was recovered at the scene.

Patti Meier, a Westport resident who lives on 39th Terrace, woke to the sound of gunfire Sunday morning. She heard the sound of police sirens and watched from her second-floor deck as ambulances gathered in the Marsh’s Sun Fresh Market parking lot.

On Sunday, she watched surveillance video from her home security system and counted more than 20 gunshots in rapid succession.

In the video, more than a dozen gunshots are heard, then at least four more-distant shots. Sirens are heard in the distance as more shots ring out.

The time stamp on the footage, which Meier gave The Star permission to share, is 2:48 a.m.

Sunday’s shooting is one of several late-night shootings that have occurred in the Westport entertainment district in the past year.

In September, at least seven people were injured in a shooting spree in the parking lot behind AC Hotel Westport.

Later in the fall, police investigated a November shooting in which two women were shot near Westport and Mill Roads and suffered injuries that were not life-threatening.

Last month, a woman was shot while being robbed by a man on foot near Westport Road and Broadway Boulevard.

All three shootings occurred after 2 a.m.

The shootings have at least in part inspired a push to privatize a stretch of Westport streets where similar crimes have occurred.

The Kansas City Plan Commission was expected to review a proposal to privatize Pennsylvania Avenue from West 40th Street on the north to Archibald Street and Westport Road from Broadway on the east to Mill Street, but a meeting planned for last month, and then postponed to July 18, has been postponed once again.

Supporters of the proposal say that privatizing the street would improve safety because it would allow police to use metal detectors to check individuals for weapons and ban guns outright from the entertainment area.

Critics say giving up public streets is unnecessary and worry that the Westport district could start charging patrons for access.