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SJPD: Shooting death of 2 year old related to other string of recent shootings

Police say Sunday's drive by shooting is connected to a string of recent shootings in and around the midtown area.

Posted: Aug 10, 2020 7:22 PM
Updated: Aug 11, 2020 9:31 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) -- St. Joseph police say Sunday's drive-by shooting in St. Joseph that killed a 2-year-old toddler and injured two others is related to a string of other recent shootings in the city.

"It's clear that there's criminal actvitiy outside the shooting that takes place between some of the involved parties and these things are linked together," said SJPD Cpt. Jeff Wilson.

Around 3:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon, the toddler was shot and killed during a drive-by shooting at 20th and Messanie. A woman is in the hospital in stable condition, a man was treated for injuries and released. Police have not officially released the names of the victims.

Earlier in the day, police also responded to a shots fired call in the 30th and Lafayette area. Two weeks ago an 18-year-old was shot on South 20th Street and just a couple weeks ago five people were injured in a drive-by shooting near the basketball courts at the Bartlett Center at 18th and Charles.

"When you say shooting, you have to identify which one. We had one that day, we had one later that day, we had four since then. We had one yesterday," said community activist Terresa Parks, a member of United We Stand St. Joseph.

No arrests have been made in any of these shootings. Wilson said that part of the problem in solving these crimes is that police are not getting much help from potential witnesses.

"Past investigations, specifically the one at the playground, there was a lot of people there. We didn't get any information when it came to working on that case," he said.

Parks said that part of the problem is fear and intimidation.

"Any time there's a random shooting and no one is coming forward and the streets are being quiet and trying to abide by not snitching and not getting caught up in drama, you have to expect retalliation."

However, in this case, an innocent 2 year-old girl has gotten caught in the crossfire and people who live in the area are scared for their safety.

"I'm angry and I don't know this child," Parks said. "I'm fearful for the people living in the surrounding areas. I'm constantly worried after my daughter. (I tell her) 'You get home and you stay home.'"

Police ask anyone with information on any of the recent shootings to call the police TIPS hotline at (816) 238-TIPS.

"I don't care how small the piece of information you think it is, it could be major to us. Please give us a call."

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A cool forecast is in store for northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas this week. Fall-like weather will usher into the area Monday with highs mainly in the 60s and no hazardous weather expected through the week. The area could see its first frost Friday morning as the lows drop into the low-to-mid 30s.
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