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Two men charged in shooting at Kansas City Crown Center that wounded six people

Two men have been charged in the Jan. 17 shooting at Crown Center that wounded six people, Jackson County prosecutors announced Wednesday.

Joel Olivas, 23, and Brian Fevela, 22, collectively face 26 felony charges in connection with the shooting, according to court documents that were unsealed Wednesday.

Olivas and Fevela both face three counts of unlawful use of a weapon, six counts of armed criminal action, first-degree terroristic threat and three counts of first-degree harassment. According to a probable cause affidavit, both men are affiliated with an East Side gang.

The shooting broke out after a disturbance between two groups believed to be gangs, according to the affidavit, which was determined by investigators using witness statements and video surveillance. Three people wounded in the shooting were not involved in the disturbance between the two groups, prosecutors said.

Witness statements in the affidavit describe a group of males arguing in Crown Center before the shots were fired.

Crime scene technicians later found 54 spent shell casings from 9 mm, .40-caliber and 7.62x39 rifle casings, the affidavit said.

The crime scene technicians also observed live rounds on the ground and recovered eight spent bullets and 22 bullet fragments, according to the affidavit.

Police said the shell casings were primarily found between The Coterie Theatre and Sheridan’s Ice Cream on the first floor. Multiple restaurants sustained major damage from the gunfire.

The affidavit says one witness told police that they heard two groups yelling “east side” and “west side” and other expletives and did not think it was anything to worry about. Then she heard continuous rounds of gunfire and ran for cover. She later discovered someone she was with had been shot.

Gang Squad Intelligence detectives reviewed surveillance video from Crown Center that captured the shooting. According to the affidavit, detectives discovered the individuals involved in the shooting are associated with two groups that engage in an “ongoing pattern of violent activity in the metro area. “

Detectives said they are aware of a previous violent feud in 2015 that Flavela, some of his family members, and their associates had with people who live in the West Side area of Kansas City.

Upon reviewing video footage of the incident, detectives said they could clearly observe Favela shooting what appeared to be a MAC-10 assault weapon and Olivas firing a handgun, the affidavit said.

In the affadavit, police said Olivas and Favela identify as part of an East Side gang and were firing at people later identified by police as individuals who identify as part of a West Side gang.

In the surveillance footage, detectives said they saw gunfire returned in the direction of Olivas and Favela. The surveillance footage also shows Olivas and Favela leaving the scene in a silver Jeep Grand Cherokee, the affidavit said.

“They fired their weapons in a public space with blatant disregard for the safety of many persons inside a mall, including families and children,” Jean Peters Baker, the Jackson County prosecutor, said in a written statement.

According to the affidavit, Olivas was arrested at the Kansas City International Airport, where he planned to fly to Seattle. During Olivas’ arrest, officers recovered two cellphones from him as evidence.

Favela was arrested near a residence in Jackson County, where police found the silver Jeep Grand Cherokee with the license plate that matched the suspect vehicle from Crown Center. Police also recovered a cellphone as evidence from where Favela was seen sitting in a dark-colored Nissan, the affadavit said.

Search warrants were granted for the phones. On one of the phones recovered from Olivas, a text from approximately 4 p.m. on Jan. 17 was found where Olivas states, “I was gettn off Istg,” which investigators said they believe is a reference to locating people from a West Side gang on Instagram.

At approximately 4:36 p.m., there was an Apple Maps entry starting near Favela’s residence to Crown Center. At approximately 5:35 p.m., the affadavit said, Olivas starts recording a video on his phone.

According to the affidavit, the video shows Favela and Olivas following people through Crown Center making threats.

“It appears to me in the video that the constant harassment from Favela and Olivas was done in an attempt to get (West Side gang) to start something with them to include drawing a weapon,” the detective wrote in the affidavit.

Also located in the phone, according to the affidavit, were text messages where Olivas says “I was smackin it out w succas in crown cenctwr,” which officers suspect was a reference to the shooting at Crown Center.

In their written statement, prosecutors said they worked closely with police on the timing of criminal charges to protect officers while taking the defendants into custody.

The charges were sealed earlier this month. That seal was lifted Wednesday.

Prosecutors requested a $500,000 cash bond for each defendant.