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Gunman in custody after Kansas City police officer is shot

Updated: 2013-12-20T04:03:09Z

By CHRISTINE VENDEL

The Kansas City Star

A man who allegedly shot an officer in the leg Thursday was found shot in the head in a house in the city’s Northeast area after a standoff.

The man, identified as Joel Bravard, 26, apparently was hit in the exchange of gunfire that he allegedly started just before 11 a.m. in the 500 block of North Lawndale Avenue. Detectives and tactical officers had gone to the house looking for Bravard on a Platte County warrant for failure to appear in a case involving stolen property.

Detectives also wanted to question him in the case of a 19-year-old woman who was found dead last month in Independence.

After the shootout, police surrounded the house and tried to persuade Bravard to surrender.

About 12:30 p.m., neighbors heard tactical officers yelling at the man to “move the gun, raise your hands or crawl to the door,” indicating he may have been lying wounded on the floor. A few minutes later, tactical officers apparently tossed a stun grenade into the house.

About 1 p.m., tactical officers entered the home, confirmed the man had been shot and called for an ambulance.

The wounded tactical officer, a 15-year veteran, was doing well after being treated at a hospital, police said.

In addition to serving the warrant, police wanted to talk to Bravard about the death of Michelle L. Russell, who was shot in the head Nov. 21 at a Northland motel. Her body later was found in a car near Centerpoint Medical Center. A motel guest told police he heard a gunshot and saw a woman lying on the sidewalk. When the guest went for help, two men fled with the woman in a car. Her body was discovered in Independence about six hours later.

Jaime Leon, who lives across the street from the house on Lawndale, said four tactical officers approached the front door holding shields while other officers circled the house. Leon saw an officer knock on the door and the resident exit the house. Police handcuffed the resident as a precaution.

While the door was still open, the man police had been seeking started shooting at officers from inside the house. Leon said the officers were “face to face” with the gunman. The shields seemed to have protected the officers from more serious injuries, Leon said. Police said one bullet went under the shield about a half-inch and struck the officer.

Several officers fired back, retreated from the porch and took cover behind a vehicle, Leon said. There they waited with their shields up for backup officers. The injured officer remained standing the whole time, Leon said, even though he was bleeding from his thigh.

More officers arrived and surrounded the house until the standoff was resolved. Police escorted Leon, his family and other close neighbors out of the neighborhood until the gunman was in custody.

Police did not identify the injured officer. Bravard did not live at the house on Lawndale, but police got information that he might be there. He was in very critical condition Thursday night.

The Star’s Matt Campbell contributed to this report. To reach Christine Vendel, call 816-234-4438 or send email to cvendel@kcstar.com.

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