KANSAS CITY, Mo. — One man is dead and a Kansas City, Missouri, police officer is fighting for his life at a local hospital after a shootout Thursday in the area of East 31st Street and Van Brunt Boulevard.
KCPD officers responded to a disturbance involving an armed man around 4:40 p.m. in a restaurant parking lot.
Some details remain unclear, but the suspect opened fire and shot a KCPD patrol officer in the head. He was rushed to a local hospital for emergency surgery.
“Right now, they need prayers, they need positive thoughts, they need positive energy for this officer right now,” KCPD Public Information Officer Sgt. Jake Becchina said. “He’s in surgery and he’s battling, so we need all the positive we can get right now.”
Other officers at the scene drove the injured officer to the hospital for emergency treatment.
In a news conference at 7:15 p.m., KCPD Chief Rick Smith said the officer, who has served two-and-a-half years on the department, remained in critical condition and in surgery.
Smith said the officer's family was with the officer at the hospital.
Later in the evening, KCPD announced the officer remained in critical but stable condition after surgery. The unnamed officer is recovering in the Intensive Care Unit: "His injuries are still very serious. The prayers and support have been overwhelming, we know they are helping. Thank you to everyone."
About 9:45pm we were notified the officer is out of surgury, and is stable in the ICU. His injuries are still very serious. The prayers and support have been overwhelming, we know they are helping. Thank you to everyone.— kcpolice (@kcpolice) July 3, 2020
KCPD officers returned fire and killed the suspect.
— Andres Gutierrez (@AFGutierrez) July 2, 2020
The Missouri State Highway Patrol is handling the investigation.
Police were initally searching the area for a second possibly armed suspect, but authorities do not believe there was second suspect.
The large crime scene, which is part of KCPD’s East Patrol Division, stretches to the 3300 block of Stadium Drive. It’s unclear if the injured officer worked out of East Patrol.
It is the second shootout involving KCPD officers on Thursday.
An 18-year KCPD veteran was shot by a robbery suspect, who also shot a RideKC bus driver, earlier this morning in the Historic Northeast District of KCMO.
The robbery suspect also was shot by during the exchange and suffered critical injuries. The officer in that shooting was treated and released already from the hospital.
“We’ve had challenging times in the last couple months,” Becchina said. “We’ve had different challenges with virus concerns, with unrest, with protests. We’ve had all kinds of concerns. This is a concern, having an officer injured in the line of duty, is the greatest concern. ... There’s no 100% safe way to do this job.”
Despite two shooting incidents involving officers on the same day, Becchina said KCPD doesn’t have any reason to believe at this time that there is a coordinated effort to target officers.
Law enforcement officers from the Independence, Gladstone, Liberty and Riverside police departments as well as the sheriff's office for Clay, Jackson and Platte counties helped KCPD with service calls Thursday night, according to the department's social media.