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A timeline in arrest of suspect accused of threatening William Jewell College

Suspect also arrested same day for allegedly shooting gun near highway
William Jewell College
Posted at 5:07 PM, Mar 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-06 18:21:59-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The suspect accused of threatening the William Jewell College campus was involved in a shots fired incident the same day the college cancelled classes.

Here is a timeline of what the I-Team has uncovered through court documents, interviews and emails obtained.

Monday, Feb. 27

Afternoon — William Jewell notified the Liberty and Kansas City, Kansas, Police Departments about a potential threat to the community’s safety.

4 p.m. Liberty police start searching for suspect.

7:57 p.m. — Text sent to William Jewell students about a suspicious person. A picture of the suspicious person is included in the message and students are called to contact campus security if he’s seen on or around campus.

10:02 p.m. — William Jewell president sent email to students and faculty about suspending “in-person” campus operations on Tuesday, Feb. 28.

The email states: “As you know, earlier this afternoon Campus Safety was made aware of a potential threat to our community’s safety. The Kansas City, Kansas and Liberty Police Departments were notified immediately, and the former has been searching for the individual in question since 4:00. We also have contacted his family, who are not aware of his current location. This news coupled with continued, disturbing images on social media, which include images of the individual brandishing a gun, have led me to decide to suspend all in-person operations tomorrow, Tuesday, February 28. I am taking this step out of an abundance of caution after consulting with numerous individuals across campus.”

Tuesday, February 28:

8:30 a.m. — Liberty detective Vince Pernice is advised of a possible threat directed at William Jewell on social media by a former student.

William Jewell Security Department learns the suspect’s name through his Snapchat account and shares it with Liberty police.

Liberty detectives that morning contact multiple law enforcement agencies about the suspect. The Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department is asked to contact the suspect’s family.

According to a probable cause statement filed in Clay County, KCK police learn that Lee is not at his mom’s home and his family do not know where he is.

11:43 a.m. — Kansas City police were dispatched to an area near Interstate 35 and Independence Avenue about an individual on the overpass firing a gun, according to a KCPD report.

Police identify the suspect as Dominic Lee. The report initially said Lee was firing a gun at traffic. A witness, however, said he saw Lee holding a large tire above his head with one hand as he fired multiple rounds into the air with the other.

Police later watch CCTV video of the incident and determine Lee fired into the air approximately 15 times

The KCPD police report also states:

  • Lee had a 9MM Glock in a black satchel around his torso. There was no ammunition in the firearm or magazine. One live round of ammunition was found in another pocked of Lee’s satchel.   
  • Lee walked into traffic with the gun still extended about his head and is nearly struck by a KCATA bus. Lee then continued to walk toward an area near 1-70 and Grand Avenue;  
  • EMS was called to examine Lee “because of his demeanor (yelling, irrational, angry), but he refused all treatment;”  
  • Lee was taken into custody   
  • KCPD issued Lee a city summons for a weapons offense.   

Jackson County prosecutors did not file charges against Lee.

A spokesman for the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office told the KSHB 41 I-Team Monday that — at the time this incident occurred — it received no information about Lee firing shots into traffic.

“The information we received was that shots were fired into the air and there was concern about his mental condition,” the spokesman said in a statement. “We (KCPD and our prosecutors) agreed that it would be best to issue a city summons for discharging a firearm and getting him to mental health treatment.”

The spokesman added that prosecutor’s office was not given any information – at that time – about threats at William Jewell or elsewhere.

The KSHB 41 I-Team also obtained the Kansas City, Missouri, municipal summons given to Lee.

It states that the Lee was “pointing a Glock 9MM handing in the air and discharging it multiple times when walking along I-70 just before Grand Blvd.”

4:30 p.m. – Liberty police sent out an “Officer Safety Bulletin” to law enforcement agencies in the metro about Lee. Liberty police told the KSHB 41 I-Team that – at this time – detectives did not know KCPD had taken Lee into custody.

6:30 p.m. – Liberty police learn that KCPD had picked up Lee earlier that day. Liberty police continued to look for Lee.

Wednesday, March 1

In-person classes resumed at William Jewell College.

Thursday, March 2

The Liberty Police Department issued a press release asking for the public’s help in finding Lee. The press release stated that Lee was a “person of interest” related to threats made toward William Jewell students on Feb. 27.

Liberty police later receive an anonymous tip that Lee is at a local hospital.

Liberty police told the I-Team its detectives do not know the circumstances of how Lee was taken to a hospital.

The probable cause statement, however, states that Lee had been in the hospital for “the last couple of days.”

The Clay County Prosecutor’s Office charged Lee with 1 count of Making A Terroristic Threat. This is a class D felony.