No suspects yet in Westport Ale House shooting that killed 1, injured 5
Three off-duty Kansas City Police officers who were working security responded to the shooting. Mayor Quinton Lucas blamed the incident on the “easy access to guns and the total lack of safeguards in our state.”
Kansas City Police and the Missouri State Highway Patrol are investigating a mass shooting at the Westport Ale House that killed one person and left five others injured on Sunday night.
Highway Patrol spokesperson Bill Lowe said in a briefing Monday morning that the incident began as a sizable altercation inside the bar, which wound up continuing outside. The shooting happened around 11 p.m.
Three off-duty KCPD officers who were working security at the bar responded by shooting at the potential suspects, the Highway Patrol confirmed.
The identities of the victims have yet to be released. The Highway Patrol is also investigating whether any of the injured were struck by the officers’ fire.
Westport resident Elizabeth Wilson lives across the street from the Ale House and saw police and paramedics rush to the scene and start treating the wounded.
“Do you know if the timing had been different, I could have been walking home when shots were fired into the crowd,” Wilson said.
Westport takes extra security measures on Fridays and Saturdays to protect patrons, including strategic designated road closures, metal detectors and additional personnel. However, those precautions aren’t offered on Sundays, which see smaller crowd sizes.
Mayor Quinton Lucas, who is in Washington to support President Joe Biden’s signing of the recent bipartisan gun bill, blamed the Westport shooting on the “easy access to guns and the total lack of safeguards in our state.”
With multiple police officers and security guards present, we still saw a shoot out on the streets of our city. The easy access to guns and the total lack of safeguards in our state to keep people from carrying them almost anywhere continues to put our people at risk each day.— Mayor Q (@QuintonLucasKC) July 11, 2022
Last year, Missouri lawmakers passed the “Second Amendment Preservation Act,” barring local enforcement from enforcing federal gun policies, and threatening them with fines if they do so. The U.S. Justice Department has sued Missouri over the law, and both Jackson County and St. Louis are challenging it in court.
On Monday morning, residents and businesses in Westport expressed frustration with the continued gun violence in the area.
“It's frustrating and it's scary, you know,” said Jennifer Pryor, a barista at neighboring Broadway Café. “I don't have a gun or wish to have a gun, and I don't understand why people should be allowed to just have as many guns as they want or any kind of gun that they want.”
As of Monday afternoon, no arrests have been made and police have not announced any suspects.