Off-duty officer kills man brandishing gun at Lenexa Costco

LENEXA, Kan. -- A man brandishing a gun walked into the Lenexa Costco at 9350 Marshall Drive around 11 a.m. on Sunday. Shoppers and employees say he was yelling and waving a gun around.

“Some guy in camouflage came in with a revolver and just started yelling and waving his gun at everybody,” said Dennise Meyer, who works at the store. “He said, ‘Don’t shut me in!’ or something like that.”

“I was in the back of the store, there was a bunch of people running and then I heard shouting and then I heard ‘shooter,’” said Tim Farr, who was shopping with his wife when the incident occurred.

People were told to evacuate the store and were running towards the exits in the back of the building according to both shoppers and employees.

“It was a stampede. I mean everybody ran. They just evacuated as quickly as possible,” said Meyer.

Meanwhile, an off-duty police officer who was shopping at the store took action. KCKPD later identified him as Capt. Michael Howell, a 22-year veteran of the department. 

“There was a cop in there shopping so he wasn’t in uniform. When he found out what was going on he pulled out his gun and his badge and held it up to let everyone know he was a cop,” said Meyer.

Shortly after, people who had evacuated the store heard gunshots coming from inside.

“Sat outside in the back and waited for a couple minutes then I heard about 8 or 10 rounds go off,” said Chris Morrissey who evacuated while shopping. “It didn’t sound like automatic fire, maybe semi-automatic. It was surreal.”

“It was a lot of unknowns, just afraid of what might be happening up there,” said Farr.

Shoppers waited for about an hour and then were told they could return to the parking lot to get their cars, that’s when they learned the man had been shot and killed by the off-duty police officer.

“We were lucky today that there was an off-duty police officer that was there to confront the individual. I don’t know what the subject’s intent was, but before anything could happen he was stopped,” said Captain Wade Bordhers with the Lenexa Police Department.

The man was pronounced dead in the store and no one else was injured. The man was later identified as Ronald O. Hunt, 58, from Edwardsville, Kansas.

The shooting is being investigated by the Johnson County Officer Involved Shooting Team.

Anyone that was at the store when the incident occurred and has not already spoken with police is asked to contact Lenexa Police at 913-477-7301.

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