A Kansas City police officer shot a sword-wielding man who authorities said was threatening passers-by at Blenheim Park late Thursday afternoon.
Police responded to the park on Gregory Boulevard, just west of the Paseo, about 4:45 p.m. Police said a man in his 20s was armed with a sword and swinging it at people and passing vehicles.
The man was walking through the park toward Forest Hill Calvary Cemetery when the officer confronted him and told him to drop the sword. Capt. Tye Grant said the officer felt threatened and shot the man in the torso.
The man was taken to a hospital, where he was listed in critical condition.
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Neighbors said they heard four shots come from the park behind their home.
Kechelle Herring, 24, of Independence was visiting relatives nearby when she saw the man walk down the street while behaving strangely and shouting. The man was waving a long piece of metal, which Herring said she at first thought was a pipe.
“He called it a sword,” she said.
The man, apparently spooked by attention from neighbors, ran into the park and began taking off his clothes, beginning with his shorts, Herring said. When confronted by a police officer, the man turned and charged at the officer, who then shot him. Herring said the first three or four shots appeared to miss the man.
No other injuries were reported.
Grant said he did not know if the man was intoxicated at the time or if he lived near the area where the shooting occurred.
The officer who shot him was placed on administrative leave while the incident is being investigated, Grant said. The officer was assigned to the Metro Patrol Division. Grant said he did not know how long the officer has been with the Police Department.