NewsKansas City Public Safety


Man accused of shooting 2 Hermann officers planned to commit 'suicide by cop,' court docs say

Kenneth Lee Simpson
Posted at 4:17 PM, Mar 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-14 17:17:59-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The man accused of shooting and killing one Hermann, Missouri, officer and injuring another allegedly said he planned to die by committing "suicide by cop," according to court documents.

Kenneth L. Simpson, 35, is charged with one count of first-degree murder, two counts of armed criminal action, first-degree assault and unlawful possession of a weapon.

Simpson allegedly shot and killed Hermann Det. Sgt. Mason Griffith on Sunday night. A second officer, Adam Sullentrup, was critically injured in the shooting.

The shooting triggered a Blue Alert and a standoff that lasted nearly 14 hours.

According to court papers, Griffith and Sullentrup responded to a Casey's General Store in Hermann at around 9 p.m. Sunday on reports of an irate person.

When they arrived, the pair identified Simpson as a possible person who was wanted on several active warrants.

They asked Simpson for identification, and he told them he had none. He also said initially claimed his name was Kevin and later said it was Justin.

At one point in the discussion, Sullentrup went to his patrol car and later returned with a photo of Simpson on his cell phone.

He showed Simpson the photo and even placed the phone next to his face, but Simpson still denied it was him.

Griffith later grabbed his handcuffs and told Simpson he was under arrest.

Simpson began to back away from Griffith and Sullentrup as they attempted to arrest him.

He later turned away from the officers and allegedly retrieved a pistol from his right side. He then began firing at Griffith and Sullentrip, striking them.

Griffith returned fire as Simpson maneuvered around the Casey's while continuing to shoot at the officers.

Simpson fled to a nearby residence, where he barricaded himself for nearly 14 hours before surrendering.

During an interview with authorities, he told them he was on the run for several warrants.

Simpson also said he believed he was going to die as he "planned to commit suicide by cop." He also said he gave the officers a chance to shoot him.