A witness said Kansas City police officers shot a pregnant Black woman multiple times during a confrontation at a parking lot on Friday. The witness, identified as 29-year-old Shédanja, said the woman had her hands up moments before she was struck, The Kansas City Star reported.
In an interview with the news outlet, Shédanja said the officers opened fire on the woman after she attempted to flee the scene. The injuries that the woman sustained from the shooting are said to be serious.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol said officers were trying to apprehend a man and woman who were in a vehicle suspected to have been stolen. The vehicle in question was spotted at a Family Dollar store at 6th and Prospect Ave.
Shédanja, who was at the store with her children, said she heard the officers shouting “Get out the car,” to two occupants in a vehicle that was close to hers. She said a man who got out of the car and fled after jumping a fence was pursued by three officers.
Shédanja also said the woman who got out of the car had her hands up. But when the officers ordered her to get on the ground, the woman replied saying that wouldn’t be possible because she was pregnant, Shédanja said. The officers also repeatedly ordered her to get on the ground. She subsequently notified the officers about a gun in the vehicle.
And when she started moving towards a fence, multiple officers advanced towards her with their weapons drawn, Shédanja told The Kansas City Star. “She did not pull out a weapon on them,” she said. “She did not even have a stick in her hand.”
Shédanja said the officers shot the woman five times after she ran from them. “One, two, three, four, five. I remember it because it didn’t stop. They shot five times,” Shédanja said. “I remember seeing her hit the ground and I froze.”
In the aftermath of the shooting, Shédanja repeatedly asked the officers why they opened fire. But they did not respond. She subsequently recorded what was happening. And the video reportedly showed an officer seemingly placing the woman who had been shot in handcuffs.
The woman was later taken to the hospital. Highway patrol spokesman Sgt. Andrew Bell on Friday listed her condition as stable. Bell also said officers found a handgun around the spot the woman was hit. Authorities are currently investigating the shooting, but Kansas City police said body cam footage won’t be made public any time soon.
Meanwhile, Shédanja said the shooting left her as well as her children traumatized. She also asked for the police to undergo better training.