Independence police identify critically shot officer as 22-year-old trainee

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The Independence police officer who was shot and critically wounded on Wednesday afternoon has been identified as Blaize Madrid-Evans, a 22-year-old trainee with a little more than two months on the force.

Police have said Madrid-Evans was critically wounded during an exchange of gunfire involving an armed suspect, who was killed. Officers responded to the shooting around noon in the 2400 block of South Northern Boulevard. Madrid-Evans was taken to a hospital in critical condition.

Independence police say Madrid-Evans began his career with the force as a cadet with the Kansas City Regional Police Academy in January 2021. He graduated from the academy in July and is still in the police department’s field training program, police said.

The Missouri Highway Patrol is leading the shooting investigation. Sgt. Andrew Bell, a patrol spokesman, said at about 11:30 a.m., two Independence Police Department officers responded to a nearby residence after receiving a tip that a “person may have been wanted for something.” Bell did not detail what the tip was but said examining it would be part of the highway patrol’s investigation into the shooting.

The officers were then met by a suspect who fired a handgun at them, striking one of them, Bell said. The other officer returned fire and shot the suspect, who died at the scene, he said.

Bell described the suspect as a white male. His name has not been released. The highway patrol has not said what crime the person was suspected of.

The Star’s Glenn E. Rice, Aaron Torres and Luke Nozicka contributed to this report.

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