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Man is found dead after allegedly threatening to kill himself, officers in standoff

Updated: 2014-01-04T00:48:35Z

By ROBERT A. CRONKLETON and CHRISTINE VENDEL

The Kansas City Star

Police found the body of a man inside a south Kansas City home early Friday after he allegedly threatened to kill himself and any officers responding to a disturbance.

A standoff began shortly after 11 p.m. Thursday when officers responded to the disturbance in the 500 block of East 129th Terrace. Arriving officers discovered that the man, in his late 60s, reportedly had fired shots and threatened suicide. He also allegedly called 911 twice and threatened to shoot officers, police said.

After the man refused to come out of the house, police initiated a tactical response for a barricaded person called an Operation 100.

During the standoff, the man allegedly fired at police six times, with several bullets striking near officers. One officer crossing the back yard saw snow explode near his feet from a bullet. Another bullet struck the front fender of a police car.

As tactical officers prepared to fire a pepper spray canister into the house, the man reportedly pointed his gun out a front window at the officers. A sniper then fired at the gunman, who retreated.

After that, an officer heard what sounded like a gunshot inside the house, police said.

Officers entered the house at 3 a.m. Friday and found the man’s body with a head wound. Police did not release his name. Detectives were awaiting the medical examiner’s report to determine whether the fatal shot was self-inflicted.

The deadly standoff was the fourth since September in Kansas City. In the prior incidents, the medical examiner ruled the deaths suicides. In three of the four cases, police returned gunfire.

On Sept. 12, Thomas L. Hendren, 47, who was being sought in connection with a homicide investigation, died after exchanging gunfire with officers who had tracked him to a residence in the 5300 block of North Denver Avenue. Hendren opened a door and fired at detectives, who returned fire, police said. He then went back inside. Police later found him fatally wounded on the floor.

The next month, Demarco S. Hines, 40, shot himself to death after allegedly assaulting his girlfriend and prompting a standoff with officers in the 11000 block of Booth Avenue.

In mid-December, Joel D. Bravard, 26, was found shot in the head inside a house in the 500 block of North Lawndale Avenue after he allegedly shot a police officer in the leg after the officer knocked on the door. Bravard died four days later.

Police had been looking for Bravard on a Platte County warrant for failure to appear in a case involving stolen property. They also wanted to question him in the Nov. 21 death of 19-year-old Michelle L. Russell, who was shot at a Northland motel. Her body was found hours later in a car near Centerpoint Medical Center in Independence.

The three prior standoffs, which were prompted by crimes, were different from the most recent standoff, which involved a man who had made suicidal threats, police said.

Police Capt. Tye Grant said it is not unusual for tactical officers to find a suicide victim after a standoff, but he said the exchange of gunfire in the recent incidents was unusual.

To reach Robert A. Cronkleton, call 816-234-4261 or send email to bcronkleton@kcstar.com. To reach Christine Vendel, call 816-234-4438 or send email to cvendel@kcstar.com.

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