Independence PD mourns fallen officer following hunting accident

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. - The Independence Police Department is mourning the loss one of their own. Officer James Lockard died Sunday afternoon following a hunting accident north of Saint Joseph.

His wife, Sarah, tells 41 Action News he died doing what he loved— and that was to hunt.

She said that Lockard left on Thursday with his father and a few of their friends up to a family retreat in Albany, Mo.

It was annual hunting trip that Lockard took with his father ever since he was a child.  But on Saturday morning, it went horribly wrong.

Police said Lockard was riding on an ATV with his father to retrieve a deer he just shot when a tree fell on top of him, nearly crushing him.

Lockard died from his injuries Sunday evening.

"You'd think it'd be a job related incident and [in] this case it was not, so the family is taking it hard--the police family is taking it hard--and it's going to take some time to get over this," Captain Paul Thurman with the Independence Police Department said.

Lockard had been with the department for five years; his most recent assignment had him with the special response team.

Lockard's family thanks everyone who has expressed their condolences.

A fund has been set up for the Lockard family to help with funeral costs.

James Lockard Memorial
c/o Code One Credit Union
PO Box 2700
Kansas City, MO 64127

Details regarding Officer Lockard's services are being developed.

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