Man arrested in connection with as many as 20 highway shootings
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A suspect has been taken into custody in connection with as many as 20 highway shootings in the Kansas City, Missouri, area, that began in early March, police said Thursday.
The news comes a day after police announced they were investigating the latest in a series of shootings targeting drivers in the metropolitan area.
The announcement was made by Police Chief Darryl Forte on the department’s verified Twitter account.
Authorities did not immediately identify the suspect.
Local and federal authorities, including the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, have been trying to find out who is behind the shootings on major highways and roads around the city since they began on March 8.
Three people have been shot, but there have been no life-threatening injuries.
If Wednesday’s incident is added to the list, it would be the first one reported in 10 days. Police say they expect the numbers to change as they investigate more incidents and rule some out.
in the latest incident, four people told police their minivan may have been shot at when they were at a stoplight in south Kansas City.
“They said they heard what they thought were two gunshots and then noticed that their passenger rear window had broke out,” said Capt. Tye Grant with the Kansas City police. They then drove home and cleaned up the glass before calling police.
After combing the minivan, police found no bullet, no holes and no additional damage to the vehicle.
Authorities are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case.
“Sometimes it’s a little like a needle in a haystack, but they have come up with some very interesting things through the law enforcement research center crunching data and getting good tips,” Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Sly James told CNN affiliate KCTV.
A U.S. law enforcement official briefed on the case said that investigators are still trying to figure out if any of the shootings are related and, if so, how many might be connected. The official said federal agents used dogs on Interstate 435 last week to search for shell casings that might tie the cases together. They have not said whether they found anything, or if the same caliber of firearm was used in some or all of the cases.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told CNN that there are similarities among the cases. The attacks seem to be concentrated in certain areas. Almost all of the shootings occurred on a freeway near entrance and exit ramps.
Police are increasing their presence in the areas where the shootings have occurred, and some drivers said they were taking secondary roads, especially after nightfall.
Investigators are asking drivers to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious activity immediately. Many residents are confident police will figure out who is taking aim at drivers.
The mayor says progress is being made, but police have a lot to sort through.
“They’re trying to catch a random person in a vehicle that’s only marginally been described who could be any place in the city at any time doing whatever,” he said.