Police kill man they say shot 3 officers; suspect investigated in UMKC student’s death

Kansas City police on Sunday killed a man they say shot three police officers and had been a person of interest in the off-campus July 6 shooting death of a University of Missouri-Kansas City student.

All three injured officers are expected to live.

The harrowing events began just before noon at the Sky-Vu Motel on U.S. 40 and ended an hour later when the man came out of a house at 30th and Topping Avenue. All told, the suspect and police exchanged gunfire three different times.

By 4:30 p.m., police continued an active investigation near 30th and Topping. Officers were seen with guns drawn. A specialty armored vehicle carrying about a half-dozen heavily armed officers was stationed outside a residence there. The home had yet to be cleared by police, a police spokesman said. There is no reason to believe anyone is inside, but police were planning to initiate a precautionary operation to clear the house, Sgt. Jacob Becchina said.

The suspect had been under surveillance as a person of interest in the death of UMKC student Sharath Koppu, who was fatally shot July 6 during a restaurant robbery in the 5400 block of Prospect Avenue. Police would not say, however, whether the suspect was the man seen in restaurant surveillance video taken before the shooting.

Police had been watching multiple locations for the homicide suspect, and he “popped up” at Sky-Vu Motel, 8300 E. U.S. 40, Chief of Police Rick Smith said Sunday.

“We have been looking for him all week, and this is the first time we laid eyes on him,” Smith said.

Two undercover officers were shot at the motel about 12:15 p.m., police spokesman Becchina said.

The suspect fled with another person, and police called in backup. A short time later, that vehicle was found and an accomplice was arrested.

In searching for the suspect, police blocked off traffic around 5618 E. 28th St. Officers with semiautomatic long guns were positioned at each street corner.

The gunman remained at large until just before 1 p.m., when police focused their efforts on a home in the area of 30th and Topping Avenue.

At 12:56 p.m., as many as 50 gunshots could be heard as officers again took gunfire. A third officer was shot in the arm and taken to a hospital.

A stream of emergency vehicles flew east on 30th Street from Van Brunt after the shooting. About a dozen police cars with sirens on sped out of the East Patrol station.

Police told residents to remain in their homes and alerted worshipers at the nearby United Believers Community Church to leave the premises as quickly as possible.

“We want to protect as many people as we can from the gunfire,” Becchina said.

About 15 minutes later, the suspect came out of the home, again exchanged gunfire with police, and the suspect was killed.

The same suspect fired in both incidents.

After the initial shooting, police blocked off the entrance of eastbound Interstate 70 from Van Brunt Boulevard. The highway was reopened before 2 p.m.

Kansas City ATF agents, the Missouri Highway Patrol and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office also responded to the incident.

Koppu, the slain UMKC student, was shot when a man attempted to rob J’s Fish and Chicken Market at 54th and Prospect, where he was helping out. The 24-year-old, who was working on his master’s degree in computer science, later died of his injuries at a hospital.

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