A man arrested for a string of shootings along Kansas City highways has been charged with 18 felony counts.
Police arrested Mohammed Whitaker, 27, at his home in Grandview Thursday night.
Whitaker faces 18 felony charges stemming from nine separate incidents that occurred throughout the metro area. Of the 18 felony charges, two are A felonies for shooting into a vehicle and striking someone and seven are B felonies for shooting into a motor vehicle. He also faces nine separate counts of armed criminal action.
Baker and Police Chief Darryl Forte were among those appearing at the news conference at the city's emergency operations center. Also in attendance were former Mayor Pro Tem Alvin Brooks, who is on the police commission board, City Councilman Jermaine Reed, Kansas City, MO, Mayor Sly James, officials from Blue Springs, Leawood and Grandview's police departments as well as FBI agents.
"We wanted to make sure the residents and those that travel through Kansas City know that they're safe. They've been safe the whole time if you've paid attention," he said in a Thursday evening press conference.
Sources tell KCTV5 investigators recovered a lot of evidence including shell casings near 103rd Street and Grandview Road. KCTV5 saw investigators spend a couple of days in that area.
The evidence there helped investigators identify a possible suspect. Sources tell KCTV5 that police had their eyes on the suspect for several days, possibly even a week.
Thursday evening police swarmed a home at 136th and Spring streets in Grandview, MO. It's believed to be the home of the suspected shooter.
Police executed a search warrant at the four-plex where the man lived. They also towed away a green Dodge Neon with an Illinois license plate.
Forte would not name the name they took into custody because he said charges haven't been filed against him. Prosecutors will look over the case file and decide on charges over the next day or two.
Police announced last week that they have positively linked 12 shooting incidents that have taken place on roadways in Kansas City, MO, Blue Springs, Lee's Summit and Leawood. Three people have been hit with bullets, and their injuries were not life-threatening.
No new shooting incidents have taken place since April 6.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol said they are investigating damage to a vehicle that happened on April 3 at 7 a.m. that may be related to the other recent highway shootings.
Troopers said a vehicle was damaged on Interstate 470 near Lakewood Boulevard. The driver was not hurt, but there was damage to his car. Whether that damage was done by a bullet or a rock or other highway debris hasn't been determined.
Investigators had refrained from releasing any suspect or suspect vehicle information because they said they did not want to provide misinformation, nor did they want the public to focus too closely on a specific type of vehicle or person. Investigators did not want to rule out any possibilities.
Officers continued to provide an increased presence in the areas of the shootings, but have always reminded motorists to stay vigilant and report any suspicious activity by calling 911.
Forte said police will provide information in a more comprehensive press conference on Friday at a time that will be released later, but he spoke highly of the national and municipal jurisdictions and how well they all stepped up and contributed resources.
"I can't say enough about the people in this community. Without the people in this community we wouldn't be where we are and I'm asking the people in this community to continue to do that, not just on a case like this, but step up. This would be a lot better place if we have people step up like they did in the past two weeks," he said.
Forte tweeted earlier this week that there's nothing that links the highway shootings to the shootings at the Jewish-related sites.