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Opinion: Crown Center’s Unfortunate Turn

A Local’s Heartbreak Over Violence in Kansas City
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Julia Kapros
A heavy-hearted local reflects on the changing dynamics of their beloved Kansas City.

  After two groups exchanged gunfire around 5:30 p.m. on the food court level of Kansas City’s Crown Center on Jan. 17, six people were hospitalized for non-life threatening injuries. It is still unknown by authorities as to what sparked the altercation.

  This incident is tragic and disappointing. Thankfully, no one was killed.

  I remember  looking forward to trips to Crown Center as a kid. I couldn’t wait to walk past those dancing fountains, push open those heavy doors and fixate my eyes on that giant Sheridan’s cone. 

  It’s sad to say that my future children will probably not have this unique Kansas City experience because I now view Crown Center as a more dangerous area because of this incident.

Inside the Crown Center food court where the gunfire was exchanged between two groups. (Julia Kapros)

  As a lifelong Kansas Citian, this hurts my soul, because Crown Center Plaza is a part of the city’s DNA. 

  I feel like not wanting to visit Crown Center for a KC resident is like not wanting to sit down and enjoy some barbeque with your family here; it’s a foreign concept to someone who is born here.

  I know some will say I am overreacting, but in recent years, violent altercations like these have become more prevalent in KC.

  According to the Kansas City Police Department’s final daily homicide analysis of 2023, 182 homicides occurred in the Kansas City metro area, 67 of those being caused by arguments. 

  182 is the highest number of homicides Kansas City has ever had in a year, and that number has been increasing every year since 2019.

  It’s becoming a trend to see these types of violent encounters in KC, take the Oak Park mall shooting, or the brawl at WOF, for example. The culture of the city is changing in a negative way.

  I believe most Kansas Citians would agree with me that these changes are not for the better. This isn’t the feeling I want to feel when I think about my home town.

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Julia Kapros, Photography Editor/Social Media Manager
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