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New details emerge about slain suspect who shot KCPD officer

KCPD Officer SHot 63 and Prospect.jpg
63rd and Prospect Shooting.jpg
Posted at 3:38 PM, Mar 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-26 18:39:42-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City, Missouri, police released new details Friday about the suspect who shot an officer in the leg before he was killed by the officer’s return fire one day earlier.

Earlier Friday, the Missouri State Highway Patrol identified Malcolm Johnson, 31, as the man killed by a KCPD officer Thursday during an attempted arrest inside a gas station near East 63rd Street and Prospect Avenue.

Police officers with an Impact Unit, which focuses on violent crime, were searching for Johnson, who was the suspect in an aggravated domestic violence assault case.

According to a KCPD incident report released Friday, Johnson's ex-girlfriend accused him of opened fire on her shortly after 11:15 p.m. on March 15 at a residence in the 9700 block of East 43rd Street.

The girlfriend, who had sought an order of protection against Johnson on March 14 after a verbal and physical altercation, was not injured during the incident.

She told police she was planning to move out of the home she shared with Johnson in Independence.

Her son suffered “a graze wound to the bottom of the foot,” according to the incident report. He refused medical treatment at the scene, telling officers he may have cut his foot while running from gunfire in flip-flops.

Four vehicles in the residence’s driveway, where multiple spent shell casings were found, also were struck by gunfire.

Johnson fled the scene before responding officers arrived, according to the incident report.

41 Action News has confirmed that Johnson was godfather to LeGend Taliferro, the 4-year-old boy who was shot as he slept at an apartment last summer and became the namesake for Operation LeGend, a federal crackdown on violent offenders.

Johnson served as a pallbearer at LeGend's funeral.

Prior to his ex-girlfriend's accusations from earlier this month, Johnson previously spent time in prison for his role in a 2014 shooting in Raytown.

Johnson pleaded guilty in 2017 to involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action charges in connection with the shooting death of 22-year-old Monteario Hogan at a shopping center in the 5200 block of Blue Ridge Boulevard three years earlier.

He was mistakenly released from the Jackson County Detention Center in February 2016 while awaiting trial in that case.

Documents obtained by 41 Action News at the time show the prosecutor's office dismissed charges against Johnson and then minutes later refiled them.

While all this information was available in the jail’s computer systems, employees did not pay close enough attention, which led to Johnson’s mistaken release.

It took 15 days before anyone realized the mistake. Former Department of Corrections Director Joe Piccinini took full responsibility at the time and jail also made policy changes in the records department.

Johnson was recaptured in April 2016 in Independence. He eventually was sentenced to six years in prison, but had been paroled.

KCPD had issued a stop order for Johnson connected to the March 15 incident.

Two officers located him at the gas station, but investigators say he retrieved a gun during the course of the arrest and shot a KCPD officer in the leg. The officer returned fire after being shot, striking Johnson who later died at the hospital.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol said Friday the officer remained hospitalized in stable condition after being shot. A KCPD spokesman said the officer is expected to recover.

For jurisdictions that utilize the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers Tips Hotline, anonymous tips can be made by calling 816-474-TIPS (8477), submitting the tip online or through the free mobile app at

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