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MSHP report sheds new light on deadly shooting of Independence officer

Blaize Madrid-Evans was killed Sept. 15, 2021, in the line of duty
Blaize Madrid-Evans
blaize madrid evans.jpg
cody harrison.jpg
Posted at 2:00 PM, Jul 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-26 19:53:53-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The man who shot and killed Independence Police Officer Blaize Madrid-Evans last September during a shootout in the 2300 block of South Northern Boulevard had been allegedly awake for several days on drugs and used methamphetamine that morning.

He also told another resident at the house as well as friends that he planned to “shoot it out” with law enforcement rather than go back to prison, according to new details included the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s investigative file.

Cody Harrison, 33, was on parole for a previous weapons offense when he allegedly burglarized a Grain Valley business. He was wanted on a parole violation after being charged in the case as well as for missing a court date in connection with the burglary.

Independence police received an anonymous tip the morning of Sept. 15, 2021, that led them to the residence where Harrison shot and killed Madrid-Evans.

Madrid-Evans’ partner, Independence Field Training Officer Joshua Gena, returned fire and killed Harrison during the incident inside a garage at the house, where Harrison recently had started staying, according to the MSHP report.

The ATF determined that the gun Harrison used to shoot Madrid-Evans — a 22-year-old from Smithville, who had graduated from the KCPD Regional Police Academy two months earlier — was a stolen weapon.

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Other residents at the house admitted to using drugs, including methamphetamine, that morning with Harrison, who was working on a vehicle in the garage when four Independence police officers arrived to conduct the residence check.

Gena said he and Madrid-Evans started their shift at 10 a.m. and the call was the first they handled that day.

Independence Officer Cody Burch had been dispatched as the primary officer on a residence check for a wanted party after the department received an anonymous tip.

Burch asked Gena if he and Madrid-Evans wanted to join them. Gena said he wanted “to get new officers as much experience as possible,” so they would help handle the residence check.

Master Patrol Officer David Wehlermann was the first at the scene. He parked at East 24th Street South and South Northern Boulevard, where he waited until Burch, Gena and Madrid-Evans arrived.

Madrid-Evans and Gena initially made contact with a different man in the driveway at the residence, according to a statement Gena gave MSHP investigators six days after the shootings.

While asking the other man about Harrison’s whereabouts, police spotted Harrison inside the attached garage, which was poorly lit but open.

Harrison wasn’t wearing a shirt, so he was “very distinguishable” based on his tattoos, including one on the right side of his jaw, Gena told investigators.

Gena instructed Madrid-Evans to make contact with Harrison, who immediately put his hands in the pockets of the black shorts he was wearing. Madrid-Evans approached to Harrison’s right and Gena approached from his left.

With Harrison’s hands in his pockets, Gena told investigators that he drew his service handgun at which point Harrison said to Madrid-Evans, “I’m not going back.”

Harrison then stepped back, pulled a gun from his pocket and shot Madrid-Evans from a few feet away. Gena returned fire and killed Harrison, according to the MSHP report.

Madrid-Evans was pronounced dead shortly before 6 p.m. at Centerpoint Medical Center in Independence.

Bullets or bullet fragments were recovered from eight places in Harrison’s body, according to an autopsy report.

The three other officers at the scene, including Gena, carried Madrid-Evans, who had been shot in the head, to a patrol car for transport to the hospital.

Several neighbors canvassed after the shootings reported hearing gunshots the night before outside the same house. A witness said a man had fired several shots in the air after an apparent fight spilled outside.

Deputies who notified Harrison’s family about his death said a family member told them he “was not surprised.” The family member said he knew that Harrison carried a pistol in his pocket and was a drug-abuser.

Several days before the deadly shootings, KCPD officers had arrested Harrison for felon in possession of a firearm, but he was released pending further investigation.

The MSHP investigation was suspended, pending review by the Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office on Nov. 29, 2021.

The prosecutor’s office determined March 1, 2022, that no charges would be filed against Gena or anyone else in the case, deeming the fatal shooting of Harrison to be a justified use of force.

Madrid-Evans and slain North Kansas City Police Officer Daniel Vasquez were part of the same police academy graduating class in July 2021.

One of Madrid-Evans’ kidneys was donated to an ill Springfield police officer.