Man charged in Kansas City-area highway shootings

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A Jackson County, Mo., prosecutor announced that a man has been charged with 18 felonies in connection with about a dozen recent random highway shootings that wounded three people, reports CBS affiliate KCTV.

Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said in a news conference Friday that 27-year-old Mohammed P. Whitaker is charged with nine separate counts of armed criminal action, seven counts of shooting into a motor vehicle and an additional two for injuring people, according to the station.

Mohammed Whitaker, 27
Whitaker was arrested at his Grandview home Thursday evening, KCTV reports. The suspect has "very little" criminal history, according to Baker.

"Tonight might be a good night's sleep," Baker said Friday. "It's been a few nights without that for so many of us."

At least six of the shootings occurred near Grandview. The Kansas City suburb is home to an area known as the Grandview Triangle, where three interstates and U.S. 50 intersect.

The last confirmed shooting believed to be connected to the case was reported April 6. A highway shooting on Interstate 70 near Kansas City on Monday is not believed to be related to the other shootings, police said. That attack left one person dead and another injured.

"We wanted to make sure the residents and those that travel through Kansas City know that they're safe," Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forte said.

Two of the wounded drivers were shot in the leg and the third was shot in the arm. None of victims' wounds was considered life-threatening.

Authorities stressed that the investigation is still ongoing, and Forte said they do not yet know of a motive for the crimes.

Kansas City Mayor Sly James was at Friday's press conference. He made a point of thanking the various law enforcement officers involved in the case - including the FBI, ATF, Missouri State Highway Patrol and Kansas City Police Department.

"This is an example of what happens when law enforcement comes together," he said.