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KCMO theft suspect charged with shooting at police while fleeing

Travis White, 39, faces multiple felony charges
Ward Pkwy and Sunset chase end.jpg
Posted at 5:21 AM, Jan 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-29 20:57:14-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City, Missouri, man suspected in multiple property crimes Thursday now faces several felony charges for firing a weapon at police officers during a high-speed chase early Friday morning.

Travis White, 39, was charged with four counts of felony assault on a law enforcement officer, five counts of armed criminal action and one count of unlawful use of a weapon.

Witnesses to one of White's alleged property crimes Thursday gave a description of White's truck. When police officers spotted it during the early morning hours Friday, investigators said White opened fire at KCPD and Raytown police officers during a high-speed pursuit.

Ring doorbell video from Cierra Pritchett's Raytown home captured video of part of the chase, showing seven police vehicles pursuing the pickup truck.

Pritchett said the sirens woke up her and boyfriend, Steven, at about 1:50 a.m. Friday as the chase went by her home twice.

"I was concerned," she said. "This neighborhood has been pretty quiet and not too much has been exciting beyond what happened last night."

White appeared to also fire shots at construction workers, according to police, and also drove the wrong way on Missouri 350 trying to evade police.

White's alleged crime spree is believed also to include the theft of about $100,000 worth of equipment from the 41 Action News transmitter site. The equipment theft did not interrupt 41 Action News broadcasts.

According to court records, KCPD also suspects White was involved in another property crime and opened fire on a citizen.

Eventually, pursuing officers were able to arrest White after a nearly 90-minute chase with no injuries to any of the officers, White or innocent bystanders.

"All the officers did a great job last night of bringing that situation under control in a peaceful way," KCPD Public Information Officer Sgt. Jacob Becchina said.

He said stop sticks, which gradually deflate tires to slow down a speeding vehicle, helped end the chase.

But there's high risk involved, requiring officers to get in front of a speeding vehicle driven by a possibly armed suspect.

"It's something that those officers did heroically and they would do it again if the situation presented itself," Becchina said.

Pritchett appreciated the police officers' work.

"I could tell it was a very coordinated effort by the police departments involved," she said.

According to a statement from the Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, a shotgun was recovered from White's vehicle along with shell casings.

Prosecutors requested a $100,000 cash bond for White and additional charges connected with the property crimes investigation may be pending.

Becchina said part of that property crimes investigation is to determine if White acted alone or with help.

A female passenger also was taken into custody at the end of the police pursuit.