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Here’s what we know about the Independence shooting that took the life of a police officer and another man on Wednesday.
Who was the police officer?
Blaize Madrid-Evans, the 22-year-old Independence police officer, was shot during an armed encounter with a Gladstone man late Wednesday morning. He died of his injuries Wednesday night, according to police.
Madrid-Evans was wounded during an exchange of gunfire involving the suspect, who was also killed. Officers responded to the shooting around noon in the 2400 block of South Northern Boulevard. Madrid-Evans was taken to the hospital in critical condition. The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene.
Madrid-Evans graduated from the Kansas City Kansas City Regional Police Academy in July and was still being taught the role of a police officer through the department’s field training program, Independence police said.
Suspect killed in shooting
The Missouri State Highway Patrol identified the man killed late Wednesday morning in an exchange of gunfire with Independence police as 33-year-old Cody Harrison.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol is leading the shooting investigation. The agency has investigated shootings involving officers in Kansas City since June 2020.
Sgt. Andrew Bell, a patrol spokesman, said 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.
As of Thursday morning, police haven’t said what the tip was or why Independence Police engaged the suspect.
What was at the scene
A crowd of bystanders gathered in front of a restaurant and several businesses along 23rd Street and watched investigators pick through evidence and look for potential witnesses.
In a statement, Mayor Eileen Weir said officers “put their lives on the line to protect the citizens of our community.”
“We are ever hopeful that their daily interactions with the public will be peaceful so that they might return home to their families safely at the end of their shift,” Weir said. “Today, that was not the case. At this time, our thoughts are with the officer, their family and the Independence Police Department.”
Durrell Johnson was driving by when he heard the gunfire. Talking to reporters, he described them as “multiple gunshots” that occurred “over and over” again.
Another witness, Jaron Marcel, 29, was standing in front of the nearby First Church of the Nazarene when he heard gunshots.
“You just heard like a ripple of shots,” Marcel said. “Like maybe 40 to 60.”
The Star’s Glenn E. Rice, Luke Nozicka and Bill Lukitsch contributed to this report.