Police confirm man killed in Sunday shootout was suspect in UMKC student's murder

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Kansas City, Mo. Police Chief Rick Smith said Monday the man shot and killed Sunday in a shootout with officers was the suspect in the killing of a University of Missouri - Kansas City student.

In a briefing with reporters, Smith said the suspect was identified as Marlin Mack, 25. Smith said Mack was the man identified in surveillance video released the day after UMKC student Sharath Koppu, 25, was murdered while working at J’s Fish and Chicken Market at 54th and Prospect.

Thanks to the surveillance video, the chief said officers received 40 tips total, with eight of them leading to Mack on Sunday.

Three police officers were injured during Sunday’s altercations with the suspect. They are expected to recover.

"The family would like to express their gratitude to the police officers who risked their lives in pursuing this case. We are disheartened to hear that they're injured, and we're praying for a speedy and full recovery," Raghu Chowdavaram, Koppu's cousin, said Monday. 

Chowdavaram added the family is relieved Mack is no longer at large. 

A lengthy history

Mack has a lengthy criminal history out of Tulsa, Oklahoma. He's pleaded guilty to robbery, assault with a dangerous weapon, burglary, and possession of a firearm. 
 

 

Most recently, he was arrested and convicted in 2015 of burglary, receiving or possessing stolen property and for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

Mack was sentenced to four years in prison.

But he was released less than two years into that sentence in February 2017.

In November 2011, Mack was sentenced to seven years in prison after a conviction for robbery, two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon and for possession of a firearm by a juvenile.

He had not yet turned 18 when he was first arrested in that case.

Mack was released in March 2015, less than four years after his arrest.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is investigating where and/or who Mack got the gun he used from.

John Ham with the ATF said most of the guns used in crimes in Kansas City are sourced from the city or metro; they're either stolen or purchased by straw purchasers. 

Ham told 41 Action News they are working to trace the gun. In order to do that they must: 

  • Contact the manufacturer.
  • Find out who the whole seller was.
  • Contact the seller and find out who purchased gun.
  • From there, the ATF makes a lot of phone calls and door knocks.

The ATF hopes to know how Mack got the gun soon. 

The officers' recovery

41 Action News independently confirmed the identities of two of the officers, but we are not naming them due to their role in the department. 

We learned those two are fathers. Neighbors told us one of the officers is a nice man and a good father. 

 

Brad Lemon, President of the Kansas City Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 99, said he has visited the officers at the hospital. 

“They're doing fine. Their mental state is what you would expect after an event like that,” Lemon said. 

KCPD is making its peer support crisis team and psychologists available to the officers and their families. 

Lemon said these officers are highly skilled and trained. The possibility that someone could pull a gun on them at any time is drilled into their head while in the Academy. 

That doesn’t make incidents like Sunday’s any better. 

“I've said this before and I'll say it again. There are segments of society that have just lost all respect for just humanity. And to just randomly kill a young child who is just at the beginning of his life and doesn't even know what he was going to be, is incredibly sad.  That's the kind of guy that pulls a gun on a police officer and tries to kill him,” Lemon said. 

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