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Woman shot and killed at First Friday event likely was innocent bystander: KCPD

Shooting at 18th and Main in downtown Kansas City

Capt. Tim Hernandez, a Kansas City police spokesman, said a woman was shot and killed after 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2, 2019 in the area of 18th and Main streets in the Crossroads.
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Capt. Tim Hernandez, a Kansas City police spokesman, said a woman was shot and killed after 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2, 2019 in the area of 18th and Main streets in the Crossroads.

Update: The woman killed in the shooting was identified Saturday by a church leader as Erin Langhofer, whose father is a pastor at the United Church of the Resurrection in Leawood. That story is posted here.

A woman shot and killed Friday night in downtown Kansas City appeared to have been an innocent bystander, according to police.

The shooting happened just after 10 p.m. near the intersection of 18th and Main streets, when the area was still crowded from First Friday activities in the Crossroads Arts District.

Capt. Tim Hernandez, a Kansas City Police Department spokesman, said police were first called about a fight near 18th and Walnut streets. Because of the arts event, off-duty police officers were working in the area.

Officers saw several people congregating in a parking lot between Main and Walnut, according to police.

“When they (the off-duty officers) got to the disturbance itself, they heard the sounds of gunfire. They heard numerous rounds being fired,” Hernandez said.

“At this point, they began to take cover and they tried to identify where the shots were coming from. Of course, when you have thousands of people and you have shots being fired like this, people just started scattering in every direction.”

As police made their way to the shooting scene, they found a woman who had been hit by gunfire near the food trucks, which had been lined up on 18th Street.

The woman was taken to a hospital, where she died.

Police have not released the woman’s name, but said she appeared to be in her 20s.

The woman did not appear to be involved in the disturbance and was thought to be “an innocent bystander who happened to be down here when the shooting began,” Hernandez said.

At the scene, Hernandez said police were talking to “several” people. He later issued a statement saying that several people were detained. Police released no description of a suspect.

Police taped off a large area around 18th and Main streets as they continued investigating and collecting evidence late Friday night.

Ken DeBenedictis, who owns the Monk’s Roast Beef food truck, said he was working First Fridays with his crew when the shooting happened.

“We ducked down and just kind of hung there for a bit,” DeBenedictis said. “We heard a lot of screaming, looked up and everybody was running in all different directions. We didn’t see the shooter, we didn’t see anything except for people running for their lives.”

He described seeing the shooting victim down near one of the food trucks behind his.

“I hope they (the suspects) get caught,” DeBenedictis said. “It’s a tragedy, and it’s a black eye for KC, too.”

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Kaitlyn Schwers covers breaking news and crime at night for The Kansas City Star. Originally from Willard, Mo., she spent nearly three years reporting in Arkansas and Illinois before returning to Missouri and joining The Star in 2017.
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