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An Independence police officer was killed Wednesday during an exchange of gunfire with a man who was being sought for a parole violation in a separate Clay County firearm conviction, prosecutors said Thursday.
Blaize Madrid-Evans, 22, was accompanied by his field training officer when they responded around noon to a residence in the 2440 block of South Northern Boulevard, said Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker.
Madrid-Evans was wounded during an exchange of gunfire involving another man, who was also killed.
The suspect, identified by authorities as Cody L. Harrison, 33, died at the scene.
“It is a horribly tragic day, trying to shed some more light on why this young man lost his life,” Baker told The Star. “And a parole violation is not a cause for a young police officer to lose his life.”
Jackson County authorities had issued an arrest warrant for Harrison on Monday after he failed to appear for a hearing in late August in a criminal case the office filed in February.
Sgt. Andrew Bell, a spokesman with the Missouri Highway Patrol, said around 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, two Independence Police Department officers responded to a nearby residence after receiving a tip that a “person may have been wanted for something.”
The officers responded to the residence where they exchanged gunfire with Harrison, who struck Madrid-Evans. The other officer returned fire, killing Harrison, Bell said. Madrid-Evans was rushed to a hospital, where he later died.
On Thursday, the highway patrol, which is investigating the shooting, declined to provide any additional details to what led to the shooting. It is unclear whether the warrant is what led the officers to the residence.
“There was a tip that someone was at this address that shouldn’t be there for those reasons,” Bell said. “Beyond that, I don’t have that information, nor will I probably be ever to disclose that, because that’s going to be more.”
Jackson County prosecutors said in the statement on Thursday that the office had requested the arrest warrant for Harrison.
“Contrary to early reporting, the Jackson County prosecutor’s office had not declined to prosecute or file a case against Cody Harrison who was out of jail when he shot an Independence Police officer this week,” prosecutors said.
An arrest warrant for Harrison was issued on Monday, after he failed to appear for a hearing in late August in a criminal case initiated in February 2021.
In that case, Harrison was charged with second-degree burglary and stealing for a crime that allegedly occurred in Grain Valley.
“At the time we filed that case, our office’s original request was for a bond of $10,000/10 percent, which is within the state Supreme Court’s bond guidelines. The court, however, issued the $6,000/10 percent bond and it was later reduced by the court to an ROR bond (Release on his own recognizance),” Baker’s office said.
In addition, Kansas City police submitted to prosecutors on Sept. 7. A new case on Harrison for earlier that month happened on Sept. 2, when he allegedly was in possession of a firearm. Prosecutors said as convicted felon, Harrison is prohibited to carry a firearm.
Prosecutors were reviewing that incident.
While Harrison was arrested on Sept. 2, prosecutors did not receive the case from police until Sept. 9, when he had been out of custody for days.
Harrison had been charged in Jackson County Circuit Court with second-degree burglary and stealing when he allegedly broke into a business in Grain Valley. Prosecutors allege Harrison stole a safe, two sets of keys for moving trucks, a steal dolly and $1,000 in cash.
In 2011, Harrison was sentenced to 15 years in prison after he pleaded guilty in Clay County Circuit Court for unlawful use of a weapon. He was on parole for the Clay County conviction at the time of the shooting earlier this week, they said.
Harrison was incarcerated in state prisons from October 2011 to July 2018. He also was in prison from November 2020 until May 24, according to Karen Pojmann, a spokeswoman for the Missouri Department of Corrections.
Bell said there is no timetable when the investigation is expected to be completed.
“What we have seen is, it’s not weeks, it’s months,” Bell told The Star Thursday. “We’re really at a point now where we’re at a standstill of information.”
“It’s an open investigation and it’s just gonna have to take its time just like every other investigation,” he said. “As that remains open, we will not be able to comment on that.”