KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Kansas City police have linked 12 recent highway and roadway shootings in the area to each other, Police Chief Darryl Forte announced Friday.
He would not reveal which cases or the kind of information that linked the cases. Police still don’t have any suspect or vehicle information to release, he said, because victims and witnesses have provided inconsistent descriptions.
Also Friday, federal authorities added more cash to the reward fund, bringing the total to $10,000.
The 12 linked cases are among about 20 shootings from recent weeks being reviewed by investigators. The investigators, which include federal agents, have met this week for daily briefings to exchange information and strategize. At Friday’s briefing, investigators picked apart the cases to find details that could reveal more about the shooter’s habits.
The investigation began last week when Kansas City police analysts identified four highway shootings that appeared similar. They looked for more cases in the area and identified 13 that were believed to be part of a possible pattern.
That pile of cases grew this week as more victims came forward, analysts looked at older cases and other agencies identified possible cases. The total number of cases being examined fluctuates. But police announced Friday that one of the original 13 cases had been excluded because investigators believe it was the result of road rage.
Most of the shootings occurred on highways, with most of those occurring in or near the Three Trails Crossing, also known as the Grandview Triangle. Three victims have been wounded — two in the leg and one in the arm.
The most recent shooting was reported Sunday night.
Forte said he believes the efforts of his officers, federal agents and other local law enforcement agencies have been successful in stopping the shooter this week. He also said he believes the area’s highways are safe.
“My mother lives near the Three Trails Crossing, and just this morning I told her it was safe to be out driving,” he said. “I wouldn’t tell my own mother that if I didn’t believe it. It’s probably one of the safest places in town right now.”
He said motorists have a greater chance of being involved in a traffic crash, but that doesn’t, and shouldn’t, keep drivers off the highways.
Investigators don’t know if the shooter’s intent is to kill, but Forte said the shootings could have resulted in homicides.
“I don’t know how you can’t think that you might kill someone when you’re shooting through a door like that,” he said.
The work of investigators on the cases has impressed Forte, he said.
“I’m confident there will be some positive resolution to this,” he said.