Witness describes standoff and arrest of man accused of killing Casey Eaton
After a five-hour standoff, police on Sunday arrested the Kansas City, Kan., man accused of killing Casey Eaton, the sister of a 10-year-old girl kidnapped and slain 18 years ago.
Emenencio C. Lansdown had been charged Friday with second-degree murder and criminal possession of a firearm in connection with Eaton’s death.
Pamela was kidnapped and killed in 1999.
KCK police and U.S. marshals responded at about 1:30 a.m. Sunday to a home in the 900 block of Kansas Avenue. Lansdown then barricaded himself inside the home and exchanged gunfire with police, they say. No one was injured.
Seth Bohanon, who lives across the street from the house where Lansdown was found, said the commotion awoke him and his wife.
He said he watched as police in tactical gear surrounded the house. As many as seven officers lined a wall in front of a house next door.
There were other officers, too, as they blocked off the neighborhood and armored vehicles were brought in. Spotlights illuminated the house.
At first, Bohanon watched the standoff while sitting on a stool at the top of the stairs leading to his upstairs unit. But when an officer at the foot of the stairs pointed a rifle or laser at the front of the house across the street, Bohanon went back inside and watched from a second-story window.
“They had a loudspeaker that they used to try to get him (to surrender),” Bohanon said. “They were offering to throw in a cell phone to him so they could maybe talk to him.”
He said he dozed off and on but was awakened by the sound of gunfire every once in a while.
“It went on all night,” Bohanon said. “There were even moments of silence there because they were just waiting.”
The officers were so close, Bahanon could hear the chatter from their radios. Police tried to keep in contact with Lansdown throughout the standoff.
“They didn’t want him to hurt himself, and they didn’t want to hurt him,” Bohanon said. “They kept trying to say: ‘Hey, we’re trying to get you a cell phone so we can do this peacefully. We don’t want to hurt you. We’re not here to hurt you.’”
Police kept telling Lansdown that they wanted to hear his side of the story, Bohanon said.
“Maybe about 4 or 4:30 (a.m.), they threw in what looked like tear gas,” Bohanon said. “They tried to gas him out. I could see it piling out.”
Bohanon, who knows Eaton’s family, said his sister grew up with Pamela Butler and sang at her funeral. He relayed information about the standoff to his sister to pass on to Eaton’s mother, Cherri West.
The standoff lasted about five hours until negotiators persuaded Lansdown to come out of the home at 6:50 a.m., when he was taken into custody without incident.
Bohanon saw police put Lansdown inside a one of the armored vehicles.
The KCK Police Department’s Major Case Unit asks anyone with information to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).
Eaton, 34, was a teenager in 1999 when her 10-year-old baby sister, “Pammy,” was grabbed by a stranger and thrown into his pickup truck.
As the kidnapper sped away, Eaton ran after the truck screaming for help.
The man got away, and Pammy’s body was later found in Grain Valley.
The man who took her, Keith D. Nelson, was convicted in federal court and sentenced to death.
Family members of Casey Eaton gathered Saturday at a park in Kansas City, Kan., to say a prayer and release balloons in her memory.