Suspect in highway shooting case appeared in court May 1

tporter@lsjournal.comMay 7, 2014 

The 27-year-old man arrested in connection to a string of highway shootings, including one in Lee’s Summit, appeared in court May 1 for a preliminary hearing.

Mohammed Whitaker of Grandview made a brief appearance in Jackson County Circuit Court for his preliminary hearing on 18 felony counts stemming from highway shootings that started in early March in Blue Springs followed by a second shooting in Lee’s Summit less than 15 minutes later.

Whitaker was arrested April 17 and charged the next day in Jackson County Circuit Court with seven counts of unlawful use of a weapon, a Class B felony; two counts of unlawful use of a weapon that resulted in injury, a Class A felony; and nine counts of armed criminal action.

According to court records, 12 incidents occurred on Kansas City area highways, including a March 18 incident on the Interstate 470/Missouri 291 interchange in Lee’s Summit.

In the Lee’s Summit incident, the victim – described as Victim No. 2 in the case – stated that he was driving south on I-470 near the split with M-291 when he heard and felt something strike his vehicle close to 8:40 p.m. The victim pulled over and found an apparent bullet hole in the rear passenger side door. The spent .380 caliber bullet was recovered and later linked to other similar shootings in the metropolitan area, including the Blue Springs case that occurred at about 8:25 p.m. March 18.

According to court documents, Whitaker shot and wounded two motorists and shot at seven other motorists in Kansas City, Lee’s Summit and Blue Springs between March 18 and April 6.

He is being held on $1 million bond.

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