Someone tell Harry Reid that this is what a “domestic terrorist” looks like.
Like pieces of a puzzle, Kansas City police used tips about an erratic driver, a fingerprint from a plastic bag of shell casings and a bullet from a house that was shot last year to link Mohammed Whitaker, 27, to a series of recent highway shootings.
Jackson County prosecutors on Friday announced 18 felony charges against Whitaker involving nine separate shootings. Two of the charges relate to cases in which victims were wounded. In each case, police recovered, tested and matched spent .380-caliber bullets.
Whitaker remained in jail Friday in lieu of a $1 million cash-only bond. While being transferred between the police jail and the county jail, Whitaker shook his head, no, when asked by a Star reporter whether he committed the shootings, which had terrorized motorists and captured national attention.
Authorities at Friday’s news conference said they knew of no motive, they believe Whitaker acted alone and that he had little criminal record.
Police arrested Whitaker at his Grandview apartment Thursday night, believing they had enough evidence to justify it. Their investigation continues.
Police found a .380-caliber gun, .380-caliber ammunition, a black bandana and a green leafy substance inside his dresser in Whitaker’s apartment, where he apparently lived alone.
Whitaker told detectives he didn’t know much about the shootings, then said he was a victim of the “highway shooter” but couldn’t explain why he had a bullet hole on the inside, not outside, of his car, according to court records. He said he didn’t own a gun but couldn’t explain why police found one in his dresser. He declined to take responsibility but wept at times in the interrogation room, police said.
The criminal charges filed Friday against Mohammed Whitaker involved these nine highway shootings:
• March 18, 8:35 p.m., Lee’s Summit, Missouri 291 and I-470.
• March 29, 1 p.m., Shawnee Mission Parkway near State Line Road.
• March 31, 7:35 p.m., eastbound on I-470 from U.S. 71.
• April 2, 5:30 p.m., from I-470 to U.S. 71.
• April 4, 5:30 p.m., eastbound I-435 at I-470.
• April 4, 8 p.m., southbound I-435 to I-49.
• April 4, 7:45 p.m., U.S. 71 southbound at 85th Street.
• April 5, 2 p.m., eastbound I-70 at I-35.
• April 6, 7:44 p.m., eastbound I-435 to I-470.
Much more here.
Video of Mohammed Whitaker transferred from police headquarters to Jackson County Jail