Man shot by KC police is in critical condition

A man in his mid-30s was in critical condition Saturday after he was shot by police at 44th Street and Mersington Avenue.

A Kansas City police spokesman said officers responded about 2:50 a.m. to four separate reports of shots fired in the area of 37th Street and Wabash Avenue. When they arrived, they saw a vehicle leaving that area and pursued it.

According to a department spokesman, officers approached the vehicle when it came to a T intersection at 44th and Mersington and saw that the driver had a gun. The spokesman said the officers feared for their lives and shot the suspect, then administered first aid until medics arrived. The man was taken to a hospital.

The two officers, who were not injured, will be placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure in officer-involved shootings.

No injuries were reported at 37th and Wabash, where the shots-fired calls originated.

The shooting incident likely will receive scrutiny from Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker, who is spearheading an effort to make investigations of police shootings more transparent.

Baker in 2012 created a “use of force” committee, including a retired circuit court judge and prosecutors, to look into police shootings in a public way. The longstanding policy had been that investigations were conducted in secret in a grand jury.

In a statement released Saturday afternoon, Baker said a prosecutor responded to the scene at 44th and Mersington and that the incident is under investigation.

“Our office will follow its established process of investigating and reporting on the officer-involved incident,” Baker said in the statement.

Persons with information about the Saturday morning incident are asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477.

Diane Stafford: 816-234-4359, @kcstarstafford