Pregnant Black woman suspected of carjacking is shot five times by Missouri police, witness says

‘They shot five times,’ says the witness. ‘I remember seeing her hit the ground and I froze’

<p>Kansas City, Missouri police are accused of shooting a pregnant Black woman as she tried to flee</p>

Kansas City, Missouri police are accused of shooting a pregnant Black woman as she tried to flee

An eyewitness says police in Kansas City, Missouri repeatedly shot an unarmed pregnant woman as she tried to run away.

“They shot five times,” the witness, who only gave her first name, Shedanja, told the Kansas City Star. “I remember seeing her hit the ground and I froze.”

The injured woman, who is Black, was suspected of carrying out a carjacking with a male accomplice. KCTV has identified her as Leonna Hale, 26. She is still alive, but suffered serious injuries and was taken to a hospital, where she is in stable condition.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP), Kansas City Police Department (KCPD) officers confronted the pair of suspects in the parking lot of a Family Dollar store on Friday. The male suspect reportedly jumped out of the car and ran away, but Ms Hale stayed and put her hands up.

“She did not pull out a weapon on them,” Shedanja told the Star. “She did not even have a stick in her hand.”

According to Shedanja, the officers repeatedly commanded Ms Hale to get down on the ground, but she explained she could not do so because she was pregnant.

As they argued back and forth, Ms Hale told police there was a gun in the car. Eventually she began backing up toward a fence, and the police allegedly approached her with their guns drawn.

Apparently panicking, the woman finally turned and attempted to run. Just three steps in, Shedanja said, the police shot her.

“One, two, three, four, five,” the witness recalled, counting the gunshots. “I remember it because it didn’t stop.”

In a video Shedanja shared with the Star, the woman is lying on the ground with her hands behind her back and what appears to be blood on her shirt.

“They got her handcuffed,” Shedanja narrates. “Why they shot her, y’all?”

Police say the Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating the incident.

“We never want to be in these types of situations,” interim KCPD chief Joseph Mabin told reporters. “Not the public, not the police department. Any time anything happens like this, it’s a blight on our community. I want to assure the public that the scene is secure. There’s no ongoing threat. The Highway Patrol will be investigating this incident. We’re committed to being 100% transparent, and fully cooperating with the Highway Patrol.”

The Independent has reached out to both the KCPD and the MSHP for comment.

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