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Kansas City community helps replace damaged van for mom of 8 caught in crossfire during deadly shooting

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    KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV/KSMO) — A mother of eight is once again able to drive her kids where they need to go. The family’s old van was riddled with bullet holes when she survived being caught in the crossfire during a deadly shooting at a Kansas City gas station on Thanksgiving night.

The Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office and the nonprofit ArtsTech raised funds to replace Danielle Benson’s damaged van. More than 170 people donated to help make a new vehicle possible for the mother and her family.

On Friday, Danielle Benson showed the family’s new vehicle to her children. The kids shouted “it’s so cute” and “thank you” as they hopped inside the van. “I’m happy!” her six-year-old daughter Laana said.

Benson picked up the vehicle Friday then drove it to the family’s home. “When he handed me the keys, I just started crying. I thought, ‘Is this really my car? I can take it home?’” Benson said.

Danielle met with Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker Friday to receive the keys at a local dealership. “She showed me so much love,” Benson said.

The family was unable to drive their previous van after Danielle stopped at a gas station on Thanksgiving night. While waiting in the parking lot for her brother and son to finish a purchase inside, she found herself stuck and ducking for cover as bullets hit her van narrowly missing her. A suspect shot a man in the parking lot. He did not survive. The homicide investigation is ongoing. Following the shooting Benson said she was praying for the victim’s family members.

Benson believes her prayers were answered to keep her safe that night and again Friday. “I don’t have to be scared to ask anybody for a ride anymore,” Benson said. “I can just get up and go and be safe.” She can once again drive to work, church meetings and take her kids to the park again.

“When God does things, he does it all the way and not halfway,” Benson said. “They even offered to pay the taxes. So, I really thank everybody out there that donated to our family.

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Article Topic Follows: Regional News

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