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Police: Ft. Leavenworth soldier stops active shooter on bridge

Centennial Bridge shooting 2.jpg
Centennial Bridge shooting.png
Posted at 12:14 PM, May 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-27 23:17:45-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Leavenworth Police Chief Pat Kitchens said an active-duty soldier at Fort Leavenworth helped stop an active shooter Wednesday on the Centennial Bridge over the Missouri River.

In a news conference, Kitchens said the incident started on the Kansas side of the bridge.

That's when a 34-year-old soldier from nearby Ft. Leavenworth stepped in and "saved the day" by striking the suspect with his vehicle, according to Kitchens.

"He saved countless people," Kitchens said.

Austin Menzel filmed first responders arriving on scene and said the incident was "quite a sight to see."

Viewer footage of active shooter situation on Centennial Bridge

“I couldn’t see him underneath the vehicle, but he was definitely under there when the cops were, when the cops were surrounding him," Menzel said.

Kitchens said the suspect, described as a Platte County, Missouri, man, was armed with at least a handgun and a semi-automatic rifle and was firing seemingly at random at cars on the bridge after getting out of his car.

As the sound of gunshots echoed down the Missouri River, Charlie Jordan counted them from the campground he manages beneath the bridge.

“I heard like nine or 10 shots up there, by then there was rapidfire,” Jordan said. “It was just, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam. Just like fireworks.”

The suspect was injured in the crash with the soldier and was taken to an area hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

Another active-duty soldier from Fort Leavenworth, was struck by the suspect's fire. That soldier's injuries also were not life-threatening.

The soldier who stopped the shooter was not injured, but is being called a hero.

“I’m just glad he [the shooter] was able to get taken down, you know," Menzel said. "I’m glad that somebody did something about it, nonetheless an active duty soldier. So congrats to that hero... he did good.”