A Basehor man was home enjoying a quiet lunch Monday when a man burst in, thrust a handgun into his face and demanded his car.
“Just like anybody would’ve done, I said, ‘Take what you want. I’ll give you what you need. Don’t hurt me,’ ” said the homeowner, who asked not to be identified.
That gunman was believed to be the same man who earlier had gunned down Brad Lancaster, a Kansas City, Kan., police detective, near Kansas Speedway in western Wyandotte County. Lancaster died at a hospital.
The suspect, Curtis Ayers, 28, of Tonganoxie, Kan., was charged Tuesday with shooting a woman during a carjacking attempt later Monday in south Kansas City.
Police said Ayers arrived in Basehor in a Toyota Camry he had stolen at gunpoint from a woman. Two children were strapped inside in their car seats.
The homeowner said the man came through an unlocked door. For about 10 minutes, the man bounced from room to room and nervously peered out windows.
“At that point, I didn’t have any idea of what happened previously,” said the homeowner. “I told him, ‘Man, I have 4-month-old girl twins.’ I don’t know if that struck a chord or not.’ ”
The minutes seemed to slowly slip away as the man continued to look out the windows. The homeowner eventually convinced him to leave.
“There were a number of things that could have happened,” he said. “Fortunately, it was just me at home and not my daughters or my wife. It’s hard not to replay it in your head.”
As the man jumped into the homeowner’s car and sped north on 141st Street, Shelly Essary was playing in the front yard with her 4-year-old son, Archer.
Within seconds, Essary saw her neighbor race outside.
The neighbor beckoned Essary over to his yard. Panic had washed over the man’s face.
The Camry that the suspect had abandoned still sat nearby with the children inside.
“You just can’t figure out what is going on because your mind is just spinning,” Essary remembered. “What happened? Is it a domestic dispute?”
As they waited for police to arrive, Essary consoled the sobbing 3-year-old boy who was taken along with his 1-year-old sister.
“And he kept telling me that the bad guy pushed his mom out of the car,” she said. “It was just a surreal moment.”
A level of calm had returned to the neighborhood Tuesday. Several residents were outside, mowing their lawns. Golfers took advantage of the warm, sunny weather on a nearby course.
Inside the homeowner’s garage, police detectives and crime scene investigators re-created the events of the previous day.
“We have replayed it multiple times what could have been, what might have been…,” the homeowner said. “There are not too many outcomes that are good.”