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Man suspected in Liberty theft, Independence shooting shot and killed by police

Police ID deceased as Jeffery Millsap
Clay County OIS house scene 3.png
Liberty Police at Academy Sports + Outdoor
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Clay County OIS house scene.png
Liberty Commons police presence
Posted at 11:50 AM, Jan 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-03 00:19:43-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A 28-year-old man suspected in a robbery in Liberty and a shooting in Independence on Thursday morning was shot and killed by law enforcement in Clay County, the sheriff's office said.

The officer-involved shooting, which is now being investigated by the Missouri State Highway Patrol, occurred shortly after noon in the 19800 block of Northeast 172nd Street in Holt, according to the Clay County Sheriff's Office.

A deputy spotted the man's vehicle in Kearney, and Clay County deputies and Kearney police chased the man to a residence in the 19800 block of 172nd Street in Holt, Missouri.

Around 9:45 p.m., the Clay County Sheriff's Office identified Jeffery D. Millsap of Holt as the man killed in the officer-involved shooting.

According to Liberty police, Millsap allegedly stole a gun from the Academy Sports and Outdoors store at Liberty Commons around 11 a.m. by jumping across a counter and grabbing the gun after employees refused to sell it to him.

Police said Millsap also brandished a knife.

According to police, callers who reported the theft also said Millsap had possibly loaded the gun as he moved throughout the store.

The theft prompted officers to respond to the shopping center. After a search of the area, police said the scene was cleared and no armed person was located. Police said the suspect may have fled the scene by escaping in the crowd of people evacuating from the store.

About a half hour later, around 11:30 a.m., a shooting occurred at the Landmark Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram used car dealership at East Rankin Road and South Noland Road in Independence. A man was shot inside the dealership and taken to an area hospital, where he was reported to be in serious condition.

According to Independence police, the man suspected in the shooting was a customer, so authorities were able to obtain information about his vehicle from previous paperwork.

"As far as I know, he was a customer who had come in," Independence police spokeswoman Ofc. Jodi Grooms said. "The shooting occurred very quickly and then he immediately left."

Grooms said Liberty police recognized the vehicle as belonging to Millsap, who was suspected in the theft at Liberty Commons.

Clay County authorities were contacted. Police in Liberty said authorities also obtained information about the suspect through paperwork Millsap completed to purchase a firearm.

After the incident in Liberty, a spokesperson for Academy Sports said all employees and customers were OK and the store had been cleared.

"The safety of our team members and customers is our top priority, and we are cooperating with law enforcement in every possible way as they manage the ongoing investigation," the company said in a statement.

Liberty police said the employees took the right action.

"The employees did the right thing. They worked with us, made the call immediately," Capt. Matt Kellogg said. "Our officers got on scene very quickly, immediately went in. We had assistance from Clay County Sheriff's Department, from Pleasant Valley, Claycomo. I think even a railroad officer showed up. Everybody did what we're supposed to do in these situations, and fortunately, no one was hurt."