KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Former Kansas City, Kansas, police detective Lionel Womack has been identified as the man shot and killed Monday during a struggle with KCKPD officers.
The department said officers were responding to a call about a man acting strangely in the street around 2:30 p.m. near North 57th Street and Tauromee Avenue.
The 911 caller said the man was standing in the street, looking and pointing at the sky. As the caller drove closer, Womack reportedly tried to jump in front of the vehicle.
Womack and the responding officers got into a struggle over an officer’s weapon when it went off, according to KCKPD.
Womack was shot and was pronounced dead at a local hospital. Two officers involved also were treated at the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, according to KCKPD.
The entire incident took place in 26 seconds, according to KCKPD.
Both officers were wearing body cams. The incident was captured on them and dash cameras, KCKPD said.
One officer involved is a 17-year veteran of KCKPD. The other has been with the department for two years.
Both are on administrative leave.
Womack’s former father-in-law, Arthur Hayes, was in disbelief after being called to the scene.
“He was just a good person all the way around,” Hayes said. “... He was a good guy, so I don’t understand any of this.”
Hayes’ daughter is Womack’s ex-wife. The couple had two children.
“He’s a good father to my grandkids,” Hayes said.
He said he had no idea what Womack was doing at the time of the shooting.
“We don’t really know what’s going on,” Hayes said. “All we know is we got a phone call and told us to get down here. ... I don’t know the whole details or anything. All I know is he’s not here anymore.”
Womack, 36, was the man captured on dashcam video running across a southwestern Kansas field after a police chase when Kiowa County Sheriff’s Deputy Jeremy Rodriguez ran him over with a police vehicle.
The incident happened Aug. 15, 2020, but didn’t come to light until a lawsuit was filed in federal court that alleges excessive force by Rodriguez, a part-time sheriff’s deputy who said running over Womack was accidental.
Womack said in a statement accompanying the lawsuit that he hadn’t been speeding nor was he under the influence.
According to the statement, Womack said he initially complied with law enforcement before getting spooked after several more law enforcement vehicles arrived.
“I felt like I was in danger,” Womack said in the statement. “This was out in the country, late at night, and it was dark. So I ran for my life.”
Womack’s wife and mother are KCK police officers, his stepfather is a retired KCKPD sergeant and he has two aunts who work as KCKPD dispatchers.
His wife, Zee, sued the KCKPD alleging “rampant racism and sexism” in 2019, The Associated Press reported last year.
Womack was terminated from KCKPD on Aug. 11, 2020, due to "personnel issues," according to KCKPD Chief Karl Oakman.
Prior to that, Womack had been promoted to detective in 2019. He'd been with the department since 2007.
This is the second deadly shooting involving KCK police in the last five months.
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