KCPD frustrated with lack of witnesses in Westport restaurant homicide

Area merchants are battling city leaders over security measures

Bill Grady
August 22, 2017 - 6:13 am
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Kansas City police are discouraged by a lack of leads in the shooting death of Thomas Orr, a police officer with the Lee's Summit Police Department.

Orr was shot Sunday evening while trying to intervene in an argument on the patio of a popular restaurant in Westport. 

"There were over 200 people at the Californos Restaurant," said Sgt. Kari Thompson, Kansas City Police. "We have had only three people come forward and give us information."

A woman who was with Orr had a non-life-threatening gunshot injury to the arm.

The violence comes only days after Westport business owners approached City Hall about a plan to privatize some roads on weekend nights in a plan to promote safety in the entertainment district. 

Owners of restaurants and bars want to screen for firearms, but the idea is not supported by city council members Katheryn Shields and Jolie Justus.

"I don't think there's any ceasing of looking at this issue," Shields said. "I think what happened is that we just haven't acted as quickly as the Westport merchants would like us to."

The city plan commission recently delayed action on the road privitization proposal. 

The Westport Business Association has promoted the idea of installing metal detectors inside bars and restaurants, but some establishments do not have the space.

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