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Delinquent taxes led to sale, eviction at property where IPD officer, civil process server were fatally shot

Acree Mailbox.jpeg
Independence officer shooting
Independence officer shot
Independence Officers shot
Posted at 11:23 AM, Mar 01, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The property where a civil process server was fatally shot and three responding Independence police officers also were shot, including one who was killed, on Thursday afternoon in northeast Independence had been sold at a delinquent tax sale six months ago, according to county records.

The property owner, identified in tax records as Larry Acree, had failed to pay taxes to the county for at least three years, 2019 to 2021, racking up more than $29,000 in delinquent taxes, interest, penalties and fines.

The county moved to foreclose on the property for non-payment of taxes in a May 22, 2022, filing for "parcels and land emcumbered with deliquent taxes" prior to April 1, 2022.

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A Jackson County Circuit Court judge signed off on the tax-lien foreclosures for Acree's property and others on Sept. 22, 2022.

Acree's property was put up for auction on Aug. 14, 2023.

It sold for $260,000 and the buyer was confirmed to be the new owner in a Nov. 20, 2023, court ruling and deeded the property in December 2023.

The deed was formally transferred on Feb. 7, 2024, via Writ of Possession and the new buyer paid more than $18,500 in taxes owed on Feb. 22, 2024.

One day later, the Notice to Vacate was posted at the residence, according to court records.

The Court Administrator's Office signed the Writ of Possession, which stipulated that county authorities were "commanded" to remove Acree and any other occupants of the property on or before March 2, on Feb. 16, 2024.

There also was a judgment of nearly $31,000 levied against Acree by a Blue Springs roofing company.

The company had replaced a roof and siding at a residence on the property, but Acree — who was charged Friday with two counts of first-degree murder, three counts of armed criminal action and first-degree assault — had not paid for the work and was sued in Jackson County court.

A default judgment for $30,992.63 was entered on Feb. 28, 2023, but that judgment, which is eligible to be recouped from sale proceeds after the property was sold at auction, did not play a role in the eviction that was being served Thursday.

It had ballooned to more than $32,150 with interest and other fees by September 2023, according to court records.

Drexel Mack, a court officer with the 16th Judicial Circuit Court in Jackson County, and at least one other civil process server went to a house in the 1100 block of North Elsea Smith Road just south of East Bundschu Road to serve an eviction notice.

Acree allegedly waited until Mack and another process server had cut through a padlock at the gated driveway entrance and drilled through the door lock to enter the property stepped inside the house before opening fire.

The retreating court officer who was not shot called for backup and several Independence police officers responded to the property around 1:09 p.m.

Those arriving officers went to render first aid and try to move Mack, who was still lying just inside the house's front door, to a safe place when they also were shot at before returning fire.

Independence Police Officer Cody Allen was killed in the gunfire and two other officers were shot, including one critically, but both were taken to the hospital and are expected to live.

Acree also was injured and taken to the hospital, where he still in the ICU on Friday morning. He will be transported to the Jackson County Adult Detention Center after his release from the hospital.

If you have any information about a crime, you may contact your local police department directly. But if you want or need to remain anonymous, you should contact the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers Tips Hotline by calling 816-474-TIPS (8477), submitting the tip online or through the free mobile app at P3Tips.com. Depending on your tip, Crime Stoppers could offer you a cash reward.

Annual homicide details and data for the Kansas City area are available through the KSHB 41 News Homicide Tracker, which was launched in 2015. Read the KSHB 41 News Mug Shot Policy.