Man dead after officer-involved shooting in Liberty

LIBERTY, Mo. — One man was killed Saturday during an officer-involved shooting in Liberty.

According to a police spokesman, officers from the Liberty Police Department and Clay County Sheriff’s Department were dispatched at 6:37 p.m. to investigate a report of an armed suicidal party in the 1000 block of Highland Drive.

“He had called police dispatch and made some comments regarding a mass shooting and regarding some suicidal statements,” Liberty Police Department Capt. Andy Hedrick said.

When law enforcement officers arrived, the subject — now identified as 33-year-old Eric Richards — fired a rifle at officers, who returned fire near the intersection of Highland Drive and Barford Drive.

“We want to help people who are in need of help, but we want to protect people as well,” Hedrick said. “Sometimes, officers have to use lethal force when they’re confronted with lethal force. It’s always tragic, but we’re glad the police officers are OK. It’s tragic that someone’s deceased right now as a result of this.”

Richards was struck and killed. No officers or deputies were injured in the exchange of gunfire.

The multi-agency Northland Officer-Involved Incident Team, which also includes the North Kansas City and Gladstone police departments among other agencies, will investigate the shooting.

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