KANSAS CITY, Mo. — UPDATE, 1:55 p.m. | Local officials have joined in offering condolences to the Independence Police Department.
Independence Mayor Eileen Weir issued a statement Thursday.
“Our hearts are heavy today as we mark the loss of one of our own. Officer Madrid-Evans died protecting our community, and that sacrifice cannot and will not be overlooked. I’d like to thank our community for the support you are showing and the many people that have reached out to ask how they can support the Independence Police Department in this dark time. As details are finalized we will share them with the public.
In the meantime, we encourage you to wear blue, display your flag, and thank those first responders you see in our community for their service. We are a community that values our first responders and they need that love now more than ever.”
U.S. Rep Emanuel Cleaver II also offered up his condolences.
"My prayers are with the family and friends of Officer Blaize Madrid-Evans, who was killed in the line of duty last night. We are beyond grateful for his heroism and selfless service to the Independence community. May his memory be a blessing," he wrote on Twitter.
ORIGINAL STORY, 5:45 a.m. | Law enforcement agencies are rallying around the Independence Police Department after one of its officers was shot and killed in the line of duty Wednesday.
Officer Blaize Madrid-Evans, 22, joined the department in January and graduated from the police academy in July.
He and another officer were responding to a call around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday when a suspect opened fire, hitting Madrid-Evans.
The second officer returned fire, killing the suspect, identified as Cody L. Harrison, 33, of Gladstone, Missouri.
Madrid-Evans was taken to the hospital with critical injuries and later succumbed.
After announcing the loss of the young officer, condolences poured in for the department.
"Our sincerest condolences go out to our brothers and sisters of the Independence Police Department and to the family of the Officer who made the ultimate sacrifice. Words cannot express how sorry we are for your loss. We will continue to keep you all in our thoughts and prayers," The Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department wrote on Facebook.
The Gladstone Fire Department shared memories of working with Madrid-Evans.
"He was an exceptional young man and a bright talent," the department described on Facebook.
The Grain Valley Police Department wrote, "Please keep the family of Officer Madrid-Evans and his brothers and sisters in blue at the Independence Police Department in your thoughts and prayers."
Pleasant Valley police shared the tragic update with its followers on Facebook.
"We are saddened to have to pass this update to you. We stand with this officer, his family and IPD and offer our deepest condolences and support during this time," the department wrote.
"We are so very sorry to hear of Independence Police Officer Madrid-Evans’ passing. This young officer made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty and our hearts are with his family, friends and the Independence Police Department. Rest In Peace, officer," the Raymore Police Department wrote on Facebook.
The Platte City Police Department Chaplain shared a prayer on Facebook.
"Our condolences and prayers go out to the Independence Police Department and to the family of Officer Madrid-Evans who made the ultimate sacrifice. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, Rest In Peace," they wrote.
Support stretched to Daviess and Andrew counties as departments shared their support for Independence police.
"Please keep our brothers and sisters at the Independence Missouri Police Department in your thoughts and prayers, as well as the family and friends of Officer Blaize Madrid-Evans who was killed in the line of duty today," the Daviess County Sheriff's Office wrote on Facebook.
Even Kansas agencies sent their support.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Independence Police Department and their families as they grieve the loss of Officer Blaize Madrid-Evans who was shot and killed today in the line of duty," the Johnson County Fire Protection District shared on Facebook.
We send our sincerest condolences to the family of Officer Blaize Madrid-Evans and the entire Independence Police Department. May he always be remembered as a hero who sacrificed for his community. 🖤💙🖤 #ThinBlueLine #RIP pic.twitter.com/5xxxTe9Ax1
— Lenexa Police (@LenexaPolice) September 16, 2021
Across the state, near St. Louis, the O'Fallon Police Department shared in the grief.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to brothers and sisters across the state at the Independence Police Department who lost one of their own last night. The Officer who was shot and killed, was 22 year old rookie Blaize Madrid-Evans. Our thoughts and prayers are equally with his family during this tragic time," the agency wrote on Facebook.
Madrid-Evans' death comes just weeks after the Overland Park Police Department lost a young officer to COVID-19.