Mourners take cover as shots fired at Missouri funeral -

Mourners take cover as shots fired at Missouri funeral

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Shots were fired outside a Kansas City church during a Tuesday funeral for the slain cousin of a University of Missouri basketball player, prompting some of the mourners to run outside and return fire, police said. No gunshot injuries were reported.

Someone opened fire around 12:15 p.m. outside Macedonia Baptist church as the funeral was wrapping up for 20-year-old Marion Denmon, cousin of Missouri guard Marcus Denmon, said Kansas City police spokesman Darin Snapp.

"Several people inside the service had guns and went outside, where they exchanged gunfire with people in two vehicles," Snapp said, adding that 20 to 30 shell casings were visible on the ground outside the church. "The strange thing is, we haven't located any bullet holes in the church. We don't know if the occupants of the two cars were shooting up in the air."

Missouri began issuing conceal-carry permits in 2004.

Police were looking for a tan SUV and a red Monte Carlo or similar vehicle, Snapp said. He said none of the roughly 400 people inside the church were hit by gunfire, although one woman slipped on ice and broke her arm while she was running after the shots were fired.

University of Missouri media relations director David Reiter said Marcus Denmon and a few university staff members were at the funeral but were unharmed.

Marion Denmon was shot Dec. 3 while riding in a car that got caught between two other vehicles whose occupants were firing at each other. He died four days later.

Snapp said the funeral shooting appeared to be gang-related.

Jacquin Johnson said the last words she heard from the pastor Tuesday was that the internment was going to be held at Blue Ridge Lawn Cemetery.

"Then I heard a 'pop pop' and people were screaming," said Johnson, who was in the choir stand. "I knew that had to be gunfire."

Johnson fell to the floor and a woman sitting beside her fell on top of her. The service was so packed that mourners were forced to stand along the outside edge of the chapel. They all scrambled, and Johnson called 911.

"It was chaos," she said. "I heard someone say, `Oh my God. They are trying to shoot up his casket. They are trying to destroy his casket."'

People were yelling not to go out the front door, so Johnson rushed to the basement.

"All these young people killed aren't even in a gang, they're just are in the wrong place at the wrong time," Johnson said. "It's crazy."

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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