Crime

‘Be advised he is an active shooter’: Police radio traffic reveals Costco terror

"Off-duty KCK officer advises the suspect is down..."

Radio traffic reveals new details of what went on inside Costco as dispatchers warned responding officers of an active shooter.
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Radio traffic reveals new details of what went on inside Costco as dispatchers warned responding officers of an active shooter.

The first dispatch alerting police to Costco in Lenexa Sunday asked patrol officers to “investigate a suspicious suspect…”

But then the dispatcher added: The caller “advises he is armed with a gun.”

Radio traffic captured by Broadcastify over the next 10 minutes aired the intensifying terror as multiple calls came in describing what people in and outside the store feared was an active shooter.

In the end, police say, Ronald O. Hunt, 58, an Edwardsville-based trucker living out of the cab of his rig, was gunned down by an off-duty lawman who was among the shoppers inside the store.

The recordings reveal new details of what went on inside the Costco as dispatchers warned responding officers of an active shooter, although police do not yet have any indication Hunt ever fired his gun.

The man who shot Hunt — Kansas City, Kan., Police Capt. Michael Howell — was not injured, nor were any customers or employees.

The investigation into the shooting, and the search for why Hunt walked shouting into the store with a gun, still has much to learn, police said Tuesday.

The first call to 911 came at 11:09 a.m.

Dispatcher: Investigate suspicious suspect at Costco, 9350 Marshall — 9-3-5-0 Marshall … Older male in his 60s. (Reporting party) advises he is armed with a gun. Unknown if he pointed it at anybody at this time, we’re still gathering.

After a pause, the scenario had grown more dire.

Dispatcher: We’re getting several calls. Advise that the suspect is inside the store. Be advised he is an active shooter. They have not shot the weapon though.

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Other dispatchers were relaying the information, alerting neighboring jurisdictions. Lenexa called on more units to respond.

Dispatcher: One of the (reporting parties) is advising he was pointing the gun at subjects. Wearing a cammo jacket. Supposedly he has a gun. He’s going to be an active shooter, something like that. But he supposedly hasn’t shot yet.

Then came one of the scant clues behind Hunt’s apparent anger.

Dispatcher: When he entered the store the suspect was screaming something about the U.S. Marshals, pointing the weapon at people.

By 11:13 a.m. Lenexa officers arrived at the store. Dispatch passed on more information on the evacuation that had occurred and where they might encounter Hunt.

Dispatcher: All civilians should be out of the store, however they still have employees inside. The suspect was last seen headed to the back of the store near the meat counter.… They should be clearing the building. The possible suspect is going to be in the back of the store.

By 11:19 a.m., the Lenexa officers had been met by Howell and learned that Hunt had been shot. One of them radioed the news.

Lenexa officer: off-duty KCK officer advises the suspect is down, aisle 321, be advised he shot him. (Call for emergency medical units) for gunshot wounds. We haven’t located him yet.

Dispatchers quickly relayed that information to responding law enforcement.

Dispatcher: Lenexa is advising they have shots fired and the suspect is down in aisle three.

By 11:20 a.m., fire units and paramedics were on their way. A dispatcher advised them where to go in the store and what they would find.

Dispatcher: Lenexa officer (says) he (Hunt) is not moving and the gun is away from him. They think he is deceased.

Lenexa police say Ronald O. Hunt, 58, of Edwardsville, Kan., was killed by an off-duty KCK police captain inside the Lenexa Costco on Sunday. Here's what happened. Lenexa Police dispatch call from Broadcastify.

Ronald O. Hunt, 58, of Edwardsville was killed by an off-duty KCK police captain inside the Lenexa Costco on Sunday. Police say he was apparently living in his truck, which was parked on the far east side of the Costco parking lot at the time of t

Kansas City, Kan., off-duty police Capt. Michael Howell was shopping at a Lenexa Costco when he shot and killed a man screaming while holding a handgun as shoppers fled. KCK Fraternal Order of Police Lodge President Scott Kirkpatrick has been in c

A man brandishing a gun was shot and killed at Costco Wholesale, 9350 Marshall Drive, in Lenexa on Sunday by an off-duty police officer who was there shopping.

Joe Robertson: 816-234-4789, @robertsonkcstar

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