Crime

Kansas City man wanted for rural Missouri murder is found dead after standoff with police

David M. Call, 50, had barricaded him in a home east of McFall in Gentry County just before 4 p.m. Monday and fired several shots at officers who moved to surround the residence. He apparently killed himself as negotiations dragged on, authorities said.
David M. Call, 50, had barricaded him in a home east of McFall in Gentry County just before 4 p.m. Monday and fired several shots at officers who moved to surround the residence. He apparently killed himself as negotiations dragged on, authorities said. KRT

A Kansas City man who died in a standoff with officers in northwest Missouri apparently killed himself as negotiations dragged on, authorities said Tuesday.

David M. Call, 50, barricaded himself in a home east of McFall in Gentry County just before 4 p.m. Monday and fired several shots at officers who moved to surround the residence. Soon, officers, deputies and agents from 10 local, state and federal agencies surrounded the home, said Sgt. Jacob Angle of the Missouri Highway Patrol.

After not hearing from Call for a period, officers entered the home about 8 p.m. and found him dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, Angle said.

Call had been charged the day before with first-degree murder, armed criminal action, second-degree arson and abandonment of a corpse in the death of a person found in a burning home in Trenton, Mo. Authorities have not identified the victim in that slaying. The electronic court docket sheet for the charges was taken offline Tuesday morning.

News of Call’s death stunned Kansas City lawyer Bert Godding, who over the years had represented Call in criminal and civil matters, including a divorce that became final this month.

“I never expected this to happen,” Godding said. “It was out of character for him.”

The divorce ended an 11-year marriage with a woman who now works as a driver for an Iowa trucking firm. She could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

The couple separated in February, according to court records. The uncontested divorce was completed just two months after Godding filed it for Call in August.

In 2008, Call pleaded guilty in Platte County to endangering the welfare of a child and was sentenced to two years’ probation, which he completed without incident.

The charges stemmed from an incident four years before when the family of a juvenile suspected that she was having sex with an older man, court records said. Eventually, the girl admitted that she and Call had sex, which was confirmed by a DNA test of her underwear. Platte County authorities initially charged Call with felony statutory rape but eventually reduced the charges to the less-serious misdemeanor.

Godding described Call as an agreeable client who worked as an auctioneer. Godding said he had gone to a couple of Call’s auctions and noticed that he had a regular clientele who followed his sales.

While working as a Clay County park ranger in 1996, Call was attacked by a pit bull while trying to warn its owner that she had pitched her tent too close to a fire at Smithville Lake. According to press reports, the dog lunged at Call from the tent. While Call called for backup from inside his patrol car, the owner opened a passenger door and pushed the dog inside, subjecting him to a second attack.

Call jumped out of his car, and he and another ranger shot the dog as it attacked a third time.

The owner eventually pleaded guilty to assault and not keeping her dog on a leash.

To reach Mark Morris, call 816-234-4310 or send email to mmorris@kcstar.com.

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