Kansas City Police Department officials are disputing a man’s claim that an officer-involved shooting Wednesday could have been avoided.
Police shot and killed a robbery suspect about 2:45 p.m. Wednesday at Eighth Street and Van Brunt Boulevard in northeast Kansas City.
The man, in an interview with multiple media outlets, said he feels the shooting could have been avoided. The man was the driver of a car Kansas City police patrol and street narcotics officers pulled over on Van Brunt near Eight Street as part of a planned arrest.
Police said the deceased man, riding in the passenger seat, was a suspect in several robberies. He is alleged to have told others that he was armed and ready for a shootout with officers if they attempted to arrest him.
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As uniformed and plain-clothes officers tried to remove the passenger from the car, he initially complied. The man, however, then reached for a gun and officers shot him, police said.
Police performed CPR on the man until paramedics arrived. He was rushed to a hospital in critical condition and later died.
In response to the driver’s interview, Kansas City police released a statement that they were aware of the driver’s take on the incident. Police, however, disagreed with the man’s opinion.
“We have been advised the individual made statements contrary to the information released by KCPD,” the statement read. “We stand by our statement provided (Wednesday) evening.”
The statement also revealed that the department’s preliminary investigation further confirms the information the department released, including witnesses’ statements.
“We have notified the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office in regard to this situation,” the statement read. “They have been kept apprised of the investigation as well as the actions of an individual providing contradictory statements to our local media.”
Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peter Baker also released a statement on the matter late Thursday. Baker said the driver’s statements to the media contradicts what the same man told police immediately following the shooting. It also contradicts the statement of another witness to the shooting, Baker said.
“Our office is committed in every homicide investigation to ensuring that we have all information before making a charging decision,” Baker said in the statement. “We do not expect to make further comment on the shooting at (Eighth) and Van Brunt, its investigation or our office’s handling of our process until we determine whether to file or not to file criminal charges related to this incident.
“We did, however, believe that it was imperative to clarify tonight that we are aware that this witness’ statement to the media contradicts his earlier statement to police.”