Springfield woman describes nearly being shot at convenience store; calls for an end to the gun violence

Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 9:53 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - A Springfield mother narrowly escapes gunfire while at work.

“Had I not had the ability to just run I would have been on the concrete with a sheet. Some officer would have shown up to my house to tell my 16, 13, and 8-year-old daughters that they don’t have a momma anymore”, said Katherine Burkett.

She says she lives in fear after almost getting caught in the crossfire of a shooting this week.

“It’s worse here than it is in Kansas City any day,” she said. “They didn’t even care that I was standing there. I’m just what, collateral damage. My life matters.”

Monday at about 11:30 am officers responded to a shots fired call near the convenience store at the corner of National Avenue and Division Street.

“It was just an array of bullets. You can just hear the popping. I just thought of my kids and ran. I felt what seemed to be a firework, you know, standing too close to a firework,” explained Burkett referring to the shell casings that hit her leg.

She says she didn’t see the altercation begin.

“I have beat rape, molestation, domestic assault, and cancer, more than once. But yet doing my job, sweeping the corner of a parking lot, I almost lost my life,” said Burkett.

She says many others who work at convenience stores across town experience violence.

“We go through so much. Little kids come up holding syringes filled with heroin. They (customers) scream at us and have physical altercations. A lady got assaulted at Fast and Friendly because they were out of 32-ounce cups. He threatened to shoot her in the face. I was standing right there,” she said.

Swane Loftis said, “I hear sirens a lot in this neighborhood.”

He lives near the convenience store.

“On average I will hear gunshots, one shot or five shots, once a week,” he explained.

Loftis says it’s not unusual to see police activity near his house.

“I know it’s crazy. I just tell myself that it’s probably a homeowner themselves,” he explained.

Burkett said, “It’s a vicious cycle. You take one they’re going to take one from you. Back and forth. When does it end?

She’s urging the community to band together and take a stand against the city’s growing gun violence problem.

“It doesn’t take anybody hard to pull the trigger on a gun. Do something good with your life,” she said.

Monday we reported that there have been 187 shots fired calls through June of this year. Springfield is on pace to hit nearly 400 this year.

We reached out to the police for their comment about this gun violence. We were told to refer to Chief Paul Williams previous statements in which he said the community needs to be aware, that people are more angry and confrontational and this is not the same Springfield as 10 or 20 years ago.

Detectives are still investigating this incident. If you have any information you’re asked to contact Springfield Police.

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