Witness, driver describe NE KCMO officer-involved shooting

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The investigation is underway as to why police say they were forced to shoot and kill a man in the city's northeast.

There are a number of items in the investigation that are being examined from witness statements to videos taken in the area of 8th and Van Brunt.

“It was like an action movie but someone did lose their life,” a witness, who didn’t want to be identified, told 41 Action News.

She lives on the block and saw the deadly traffic stop from her living room window.

“In this area you kind of expect those things to happen,” she said.

Cellphone video 41 Action News obtained exclusively shows the driver, William Dennison, being led away in handcuffs.

"I really didn't know the guy I was just giving him a ride," Dennison said.

Dennison told us he was driving David Crosby-Dowdy and his girlfriend to St. John and Van Brunt when he was pulled over. He said he didn’t know about the gun.

"The police officer came up in casual clothes with the police vest on [said], 'Just letting you know that your tags are expired,'" Dennison said. "By the time they had the door open to the passenger side getting him out of the car saying, 'There's a gun! There's a gun! Don't go for the gun! Don't go for the gun!'"

Police said Wednesday that David Crosby-Dowdy, the man who died from his wounds, was wanted in connection to a string of robberies and was ready for a gun battle.

David Crosby-Dowdy’s mugshot from his burglary case in 2012.

Late Thursday night, KCPD responded to Dennison’s comments. The statement reads:

“Today, KCPD was made aware of an individual providing a statement to our local media regarding yesterday’s officer involved shooting. We have been advised the individual made statements contrary to the information released by KCPD. We stand by our statement provided yesterday evening. In addition, the investigation thus far further confirms the information we (KCPD) released, to include witnesses’ statements. We have notified the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office in regard to this situation. They have been kept apprised of the investigation as well as the actions of an individual providing contradictory statements to our local media.”

As police investigated the shooting, SWAT members swarmed a house at East 9th Terrace, where the victim came from. Some of the people inside refused to come out for several hours.

Now besides the internal police investigation it’s up to the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office to determine if there was any wrong-doing on the officer’s end. 

“We know that it's hard to control emotions but we can control the process. We can control our sworn duty to make a charging decision based on the law,” Dion Sankar, an assistant prosecuting attorney, said.

If charges are filed it will be handled as any other criminal case.

If not, the prosecutor’s office will write a letter explaining the decision. Those letters are available to the public.

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Andres Gutierrez can be reached at andres.gutierrez@kshb.com

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