A woman said that a man fatally wounded by a Kansas City police officer Monday evening was shot as he climbed a wrought-iron fence while trying to get away.
“He should have never run but he did not have to lose his life because he wasn’t threatening them in no type of way,” said a woman Tuesday who lives nearby and said she witnessed the shooting. She asked not be identified because she feared for her safety.
The fatal officer-involved shooting unfolded around 6 p.m. Monday after officers pulled over a car driven by the man and several others at 60th Street and Blue Hills Road on a traffic violation, police said. The driver got out and ran south on Blue Hills. Police arrested two women who remained in the car.
An officer chased the man and used a stun gun in an effort to subdue him but was unsuccessful, according to police.
The man, whose name has not been released, continued to run toward an apartment building. Police said the man was fatally shot when he brandished a handgun at the officer and refused commands to drop it.
The officer, who has been with the police department for 2 1/2 years, was placed on administrative leave, standard department procedure following officer-involved shootings.
Sgt. Kari Thompson, a police spokeswoman, said there was no new information other than what police released Monday night and asked for any witnesses to contact detectives.
The woman who said she saw the shooting recounted that she was alerted to the scene by a commotion. She saw a driver fleeing on foot, she said.
The woman said she saw police use a stun gun, but the man continued to flee with a limp as he ran. He raced through a parking lot and then tried to climb the fence.
She said the man did not threaten officers nor appeared to have brandished a weapon when he was shot.
The officer then fired five shots, according to the woman. Police tried to revive the man.
She said officers turned his body over and she saw a gun in his waistband.
“He never pulled out the gun so why did you shot him like that,” said the woman. “He was just running. I don’t know what he was running from because of the gun, whatever.”
Other neighbors said they heard the commotion and rushed outside as other police officers arrived.
J.B. Clay said he was inside of his apartment waiting to watch the college football championship when he heard five gunshots, looked outside and saw the victim sprawled near a tree.
A neighbor said she heard what sounded like the popping of a toy gun. She didn’t think much of it until the sound of police sirens quickly flooded the area. The woman said she looked outside and saw the swarm of police officers outside her door.
Several residents said they used the cell phone to shoot videos of police at the scene. At least one video was momentarily posted to Facebook.
“I was shocked and I was hurting,” said the unidentified woman. “We are losing too many people and it just senseless.”
“I’m not saying that he (the victim) was right so let me clarify that. I don’t know what he was doing, or what he had. Was he trying to sell dope, I don’t know? But it did not cause for that baby to get killed like that. It’s senseless, like seriously,” she said.