Crime

Police fatally shoot suspected carjacker after chase ends in Kansas City, Kan.

Law enforcement officers chasing a pickup truck that had been carjacked shot and killed the driver after he crashed into a fence and “presented a gun” Friday morning at Ruby Avenue and 12th Street in Kansas City, Kan. Officers covered the body with a blue tarp while they investigated.
Law enforcement officers chasing a pickup truck that had been carjacked shot and killed the driver after he crashed into a fence and “presented a gun” Friday morning at Ruby Avenue and 12th Street in Kansas City, Kan. Officers covered the body with a blue tarp while they investigated. The Kansas City Star

Police chasing a carjacked pickup truck along Kansas City, Kan., streets fatally shot the driver about 9:30 a.m. Friday.

Officers requested an ambulance at the scene in the 1100 block of Ruby Avenue but soon reported that medical help was not needed.

The chase started after a gunman carjacked a work truck about 9 a.m in the 400 block of South 137th Street in Bonner Springs.

The gunman approached a Moxie Pest Control employee and demanded the keys to his white work truck at gunpoint. The gunman ordered the worker to back away before fleeing in the truck.

Law enforcement officers from Bonner Springs, Edwardsville, both Kansas Citys and the Kansas Highway Patrol became involved in a two-state chase that lasted about 30 minutes on city streets and highways. Police reported that the carjacker drove erratically and dangerously as he tried to escape.

At one point in Missouri, the gunman tried to hit a Kansas City police vehicle but missed, said Officer Amber Hickerson, a spokeswoman with Kansas City, Kan., police.

After returning to Kansas, the driver tried to cut behind a church near 12th Street and Ruby but crashed into a fence. The man “presented a gun,” according to police, which prompted four officers — a Kansas trooper and three Kansas City police officers — to fire at him.

The man died at the scene. Police covered his body with a blue tarp while they investigated. The trooper and three Missouri officers have been placed on administrative leave, Hickerson said.

Rocky Orozco, who lives in the 1200 block of Metropolitan Avenue, had just arrived home from his night shift job at a nearby postal facility when he heard the commotion.

“I heard five shots, and then I saw the police cars going up the street and behind the church,” he said. “It happened all real quick.”

A neighbor, Penny Marcus, also heard the gunfire.

“I was in my back bedroom and I heard it all clearly. I heard the police cars, a helicopter and then about five or six gunshots.”

Ben Stowe, branch manager for Moxie Pest Control, said the carjacking shook up his worker, who did not want to speak to the media about the incident. The worker has been with the company about a year. The Bonner Springs residence was his first assignment of the day.

He had just placed paperwork on the residence’s door when the gunman approached

“He’s safe. He was doing his job, and that’s the most important thing to me,” Stowe said. “Trucks are easy to replace. As long as my guy is safe, then I am happy.”

Stowe said this was the first time a gunman had accosted one of the company’s workers.

“It doesn’t make a lot of sense,” he said. “Our trucks are pretty bright. If you are trying to stay out of sight, this is not a good choice of a vehicle.”

The pest control truck was the second vehicle allegedly carjacked by the gunman Friday, although details from the first incident remained unclear, Hickerson said.

The man’s name will not be released until his identification is confirmed and relatives are notified, she said.

The Star’s Robert A. Cronkleton contributed to this report.

To reach Brian Burnes, call 816-234-4120 or send email to bburnes@kcstar.com.

To reach Glenn E. Rice, call 816-234-4341 or send email to grice@kcstar.com.

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