Charges say KC woman got impatient with line at DMV, pulled gun and started shooting

Platte County prosecutors have charged a Kansas City woman with making a terrorist threat and unlawful use of a weapon Tuesday after allegedly firing a handgun outside the DMV office in Platte County.

Vanessa D. Richey, 34, allegedly became angry because of the long line at the DMV office and was told by a license office employee that she would have to wait her turn in line.

Richey cursed at the office staff and said she was going to get a gun. She left the license office, pulled a handgun out of her bag, and fired a shot into the ground, Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd said in a statement.

Zahnd said the incident happened just before 11:30 a.m. at the DMV office at 64th Street and North Cosby in Kansas City, North. Police responded to the office on a shots fired call. Arriving officers arrested Richey after she was detained by several bystanders.

Richey is being held in the Platte County Detention Center after failing to post $100,000 cash bond.

According to court documents, Richey allegedly walked up to the counter and said it was a matter of national security that she be helped before everyone else. Richey told an office worker that the president’s life was danger and that she needed to be helped right away.

When told she had to wait, Richey allegedly began cursing at staff and knocked a printer off the counter.

“I’ll show you what will happen,” Richey allegedly said. “I will show you what we can do.”

She allegedly told an employee she was going to get a gun and stormed out of the office. A person nearby yelled that Richey had a gun and another DMV patron yelled to lock the doors. Several customers ran behind the counter and hid, according to court records.

As Richey walked across the parking lot, she allegedly pulled a handgun out of a bag she was carrying and fired a shot into a mulch bed. She then got inside her SUV, a blue Jeep Compass, and sat down.

A retired Kansas City police officer was at the back of the line when Richey entered, and he followed her outside into the parking lot. He then held Richey at gunpoint and ordered her to the ground. The retired officer and another man held Richey until police arrived.

Zahnd said if convicted, Richey could be sentenced to up to seven years in prison. She also faces a maximum of four years in prison if she convicted on the unlawful use of a weapon charge, Zahnd said.

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Glenn E. Rice covers crime, courts and breaking news for The Kansas City Star, where he’s worked since 1988. Rice is a Kansas City native and a graduate of the University of Central Missouri.