A suspect was killed and a police officer was seriously wounded in a shooting Wednesday in Independence, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
Officers responded to the shooting before 12 p.m. in the 2400 block of South Northern Boulevard. The officer who was shot was critically injured and taken to a hospital.
Sgt. Andrew Bell, a spokesman for the highway patrol, 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 nature of the call will have to be examined a little bit more in detail,” Bell said of the tip. “The dispatch that took the call, that entered the call — those are going to be some ways to look into that to exactly find out, ‘What kind of tip was this?’”
Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker, investigators with the highway patrol, Kansas City police and federal agents responded to the scene. A helicopter hovered overhead as investigators combed the area searching for evidence.
The highway patrol is investigating the shooting. The agency has investigated shootings involving officers in Kansas City since June 2020.
“We all know that life is precious and we take a lot of things for granted,” Bell said. “When you knock on that door you just don’t know what’s on the other side of that door. To think that things can’t be resolved peacefully even if you had a warrant. Why can’t it be resolved peacefully.”
“Officers are trained to do their best and to resolve everything they can peacefully. It is heartbreaking that violence of this nature could potentially take someone’s life like this officer and has taken the life of another individual.”
A crowd of bystanders gathered in front of 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.”