Man charged in Kansas City-area highway shootings

A car is removed by Kansas City police from the house, far right, of a Grandview man suspected in a series of shootings that have occurred on area roadways since early March, according to Police Chief Darryl Forté. He was arrested late Thursday, April 17, 2014, in the 6000 block of East 136th Street of Grandview, Mo., which is just east of Interstate 49 and south of the Three Trails Crossing area where seven shootings happened. (AP Photo/The Kansas City Star,Allison Long)
A car is removed by Kansas City police from the house, far right, of a Grandview man suspected in a series of shootings that have occurred on area roadways since early March, according to Police Chief Darryl Forté. He was arrested late Thursday, April 17, 2014, in the 6000 block of East 136th Street of Grandview, Mo., which is just east of Interstate 49 and south of the Three Trails Crossing area where seven shootings happened. (AP Photo/The Kansas City Star,Allison Long)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities announced charges Friday against a man suspected in connection with about a dozen recent highway shootings that have wounded three people in the Kansas City area.

Jackson County prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said at a news conference that Mohammed Whitaker has been charged with 18 felony counts and is being held on $1 million bail. Baker said Whitaker was charged with two counts of shooting into a motor vehicle and injuring a person, seven counts of shooting into a motor vehicle and nine counts of armed criminal action.

At least six of the shootings occurred near Grandview. The Kansas City suburb is home to an area known as the Grandview Triangle, where three interstates and U.S. 50 intersect.

Other shootings were reported in the Missouri suburbs of Blue Springs and Lee’s Summit and Leawood, Kan. Two of the wounded drivers were shot in the leg, and the third was shot in the arm. None of their wounds was considered life-threatening.

The last confirmed shooting believed to be connected to the case was reported April 6, about a month after the shootings began.

Whitaker was taken into custody Thursday at a home near Interstate 49, one of the highways that intersects at the Grandview Triangle. Police also confiscated a dark green Dodge Neon.

Police began noticing a pattern about two weeks ago after receiving reports of apparently random shootings at vehicles. Earlier this month, investigators were looking into about 20 reports of shootings, but that number has fluctuated. Late last week, police said they had connected a dozen shootings to the same person, but they have said little else about how the shootings were linked or what kind of vehicle the suspect drove.

Police did not say what led them to the suspect, but have said they received more than 100 tips. A reward of up to $10,000 was offered for information leading to an arrest. Police haven’t said if anyone will be claiming the reward money.

 

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