A woman died in an early morning shooting in a parking lot in Kansas City’s Westport entertainment district, a police spokeswoman said.
Officers responded to reports of a shooting just before 2:45 a.m. in the 500 block of Westport Road, said Officer Donna Drake, a spokeswoman for the Kansas City Police Department.
Arriving officers found the victim, who was suffering from gunshot wounds in a parking lot. Emergency medical workers responded to the parking lot and declared the woman dead.
Homicide detectives and crime scene investigators were collecting evidence and looking for anyone who witnessed the deadly shooting.
Mayor Quinton Lucas responded to news of the killing saying changes need to be made to address safety in the entertainment district.
“Turning a few feet of public sidewalk into private space was never the safety cure for Westport long term,” Lucas said on social media. “Activation, lighting, and security in large parking lots is one step that we continue to encourage neighborhood owners to pursue. More staggered bar closing times is another.”
Lucas also said it was time to close the World Market parking lot at night to vehicles and use the space for other activities.
“Access to firearms stored in vehicles there continues to be an impediment to area safety,” Lucas said.
Since 2018, Westport has required a safety scan for weapons between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays . Each weekend between April and October, the corridor becomes a pedestrian only area, where each person is scanned at the checkpoints and must be 21 years old or older to enter the area.
The killing is Kansas City’s 15th homicide recorded this year, according to data kept by The Star. Last year, the city suffered the second-deadliest year on record with 171 killings, the majority of which were the result of gun violence.
In 2020, 182 lives were lost, the most homicides ever were recorded. The next year was the third-deadliest year, with 157 killings in 2021.
Anyone with information about the homicide is asked to call detectives at 816-234-5043 or the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477). There is a reward of up to $25,000 for information provided to TIPS that leads to an arrest in the case.
Police are working with Partners for Peace in all the city’s homicide investigations to monitor risks for retaliation and provide social services to affected residents.
The new program, whose goal is to reduce future violence through intervention methods, is collaboration between the city, the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office and the Kansas City Police Department. It brings together local agencies and nonprofits to administer resources and assistance to families after a loved one is wounded or killed in a shooting.