Crime

Suspect in killing of KCK detective is charged with crimes in Kansas City

Authorities investigated one of two cars at 118th Street and State Avenue in Kansas City, Kan., after a police detective was shot near Kansas Speedway on Monday. The car, which was thought to be connected to the shooting, was riddled with bullet holes, which can be seen in the driver’s side of the car.
Authorities investigated one of two cars at 118th Street and State Avenue in Kansas City, Kan., after a police detective was shot near Kansas Speedway on Monday. The car, which was thought to be connected to the shooting, was riddled with bullet holes, which can be seen in the driver’s side of the car. tljungblad@kcstar.com

A man suspected in Monday’s fatal shooting of a Kansas City, Kan., police detective was charged Tuesday with shooting a woman during an attempted carjacking in south Kansas City.

Jackson County prosecutors charged 28-year-old Curtis Ayers of Tonganoxie, Kan., with first-degree assault, resisting arrest, two counts of unlawful discharge of a firearm and two counts of armed criminal action.

Prosecutors requested a $250,000 cash bond.

Ayers was shot by Kansas City police and taken into custody at the scene of the attempted carjacking. Both he and the woman who was wounded suffered injuries that were not life-threatening.

Earlier Monday afternoon, Detective Brad Lancaster was fatally shot while attempting to stop a man who ran from other officers just south of Kansas Speedway.

Ayers allegedly shot Lancaster multiple times before fleeing in the detective’s vehicle.

Wyandotte County District Attorney Jerry Gorman is planning a news conference Wednesday to discuss charges in the case.

In Kansas, the intentional killing of a police officer is a capital offense that carries a possible death sentence.

Law enforcement officials spoke to reporters at the Kansas City, Kan., police department on Tuesday regarding the shooting death Monday of KCK Detective Brad Lancaster.

Ayers also allegedly robbed a man in Leavenworth County on Monday and could face charges there.

Ayers was paroled from prison in January and could also be subject to federal charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm or using a firearm in a crime of violence.

Also on Tuesday, more details emerged about Monday’s two-state crime spree that began shortly after noon when a worker at the Hollywood Casino called 911 to report a person acting suspiciously in the area.

Officers were sent to talk to the person. Lancaster, who was in the area driving an unmarked police vehicle, went to assist them.

When the officers tried to talk to Ayers, he reportedly ran and ended up shooting Lancaster multiple times on a road south of the speedway.

Ayers allegedly then jumped in the detective’s car and fled.

Police said that a short time later, as Ayers drove west on State Avenue, another Kansas City, Kan., police officer rammed the detective’s stolen car.

Ayers was then reportedly involved in a crash with another vehicle in the area of 118th Street and State Avenue.

There, he allegedly confronted a woman at gunpoint who was driving with two small children in her vehicle. He forced the woman from her vehicle and drove off with the children still inside as their mother frantically tried to stop him. She suffered minor injuries, according to police.

In the woman’s car, Ayers reportedly drove to Basehor.

Basehor Police Chief Lloyd Martley said Ayers drove into the Falcon Lakes subdivision and was driving on 141st Street when he saw a house with an open garage and a car inside.

Ayers pulled into the garage, walked into the house and confronted the resident at gunpoint.

“He was sitting on the couch when he turned around and had a gun in his face,” the chief said.

The gunman demanded money, clothing and the homeowner’s car keys.

The homeowner complied and the gunman drove off in his Ford Focus, leaving the other vehicle with the two small children inside.

Martley said the toddlers were not harmed. They were turned over to Kansas City, Kan., police, who reunited them with their mother.

According to court documents filed Tuesday in Jackson County, around 2:30 p.m. Monday, Kansas City police spotted the Ford Focus heading south on Bruce R. Watkins Drive near 69th Street.

The Focus exited at 85th Street, ran several stoplights and got back onto Watkins Drive heading south.

At Bannister Road, the Ford exited but crashed into a bridge pillar as the driver tried to turn onto Bannister. The driver, later identified by witnesses as Ayers, was carrying a “long gun.” He reportedly ran up an embankment.

A woman who was driving north on Watkins said that she was stopped because of a traffic backup when Ayers walked up, stood in front of her vehicle and told her to get out.

When the woman put her car in drive, Ayers allegedly fired two shots into the vehicle, hitting her at least once. She was able to drive away and stopped until police arrived.

A second motorist told police that a shot was also fired into his vehicle, but he was not injured, and he fled the area.

Responding police officers heard shots being fired and one officer fired a shot from his rifle, striking Ayers, who was taken into custody.

A police detective was shot Monday afternoon near the Kansas Speedway and taken to a hospital by an ambulance after emergency workers at the scene decided not to wait on a medical helicopter.

Tony Rizzo: 816-234-4435, @trizzkc

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