Responding to prowler call, Blue Springs police shoot, kill armed teen they say threatened them

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BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. -- A 16-year-old boy, a high school student from Blue Springs South High School, was killed by police early Wednesday morning  after police say he approached them with a weapon.

The shooting happened in the area near S.W. 20th and Still Meadows Lane after 5:00 a.m.

Sgt. Bill Lowe with the Missouri State Highway Patrol briefs the media on new developments in the officer-involved shooting of an armed 16-year-old boy.

Sgt. Bill Lowe with the Missouri State Highway Patrol briefs the media on new developments in the officer-involved shooting of an armed 16-year-old boy.

Sgt. Bill Lowe with the Missouri State Highway Patrol said Blue Springs police received a call of a burglary in-progress and upon their arrival at the scene, the victim initiated contact with the two officers, who had arrived in separate vehicles. Sgt. Lowe said the 16-year-old had a weapon on him and was directing it towards the police officers. According to Sgt. Lowe, the officers feared for their lives and opened fire.

The Highway Patrol would not disclose the type of weapon the victim had, but Sgt. Lowe did say that the weapon could kill someone. Sources told FOX 4 the boy was armed with a knife.

Authorities also said they are investigating reports that the boy made the original prowler call to 911.

When asked if they were investigating whether the teen meant to intentionally call police out to the location to provoke them so that they would shoot him, Sgt. Lowe confirmed that they are looking into that.

“Correct,” Sgt. Lowe said.  “Psychologically we can’t understand what the motivations were of that individual at that time point in time, but I can say the contact was initiated by that individual with the police,” Sgt. Lowe later added.

Kevin Woods, a neighbor to teen who was killed

Kevin Woods, a neighbor to teen who was killed

"It's quite baffling to think something like this is happening," said Kevin Woods, a neighbor who knows the teen who died. "It just seems unreal, it seems unlikely that that was really the case, but you never can tell what's going through people's minds or what's really going on in someone's head."

Woods said he's known the boy for about ten years. He called him a good kid and said it was not something he'd expect from him.

The Blue Springs School District released the following statement Wednesday afternoon:

We are saddened by the loss of one of our students at Blue Springs South High School.  Additional support was available today and will be in the coming days for students and staff coping with this loss. 

Jackson County prosecutor Jean Peters Baker was on the scene and said the Blue Springs Police Department immediately turned the case over to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, who will lead the investigation.

Baker said she spoke with the victim's family Wednesday morning and they were quite distraught and expressed concerned for the officers involved in the shooting.

"The victim's family, they're really struggling this morning with the news they received," Baker said. "So, with that we just have to take one step forward and work through this investigation step by step."

Baker did say the officers involved in the shooting did try to render aid to the victim with the assistance of others immediately following the shooting, but they were unsuccessful in saving him.

Sgt. Joe Fanara with the Blue Springs Police Department said both officers involved had less than five years of experience.

The two officers' guns have been confiscated as part of the investigation. Both officers are giving statements to investigators. It's unclear whether they will remain on duty in the coming days. Sgt. Lowe also said he was not sure if the officers involved in the shooting were wearing body cameras.

 

*Editor's note: FOX 4 initially described the victim as a parent with two teenage children after an interview with Sgt. Joe Fanara with Blue Springs Police, but Sgt. Fanara clarified that the victim is not a parent. The victim is described as having juvenile siblings. 

One person is dead after an officer-involved shooting in Blue Springs, Mo., Wednesday morning.

One person is dead after an officer-involved shooting in Blue Springs, Mo., Wednesday morning.

One person is dead after an officer-involved shooting in Blue Springs, Mo., Wednesday morning.

One person is dead after an officer-involved shooting in Blue Springs, Mo., Wednesday morning.

One person is dead after an officer-involved shooting in Blue Springs, Mo., Wednesday morning.

One person is dead after an officer-involved shooting in Blue Springs, Mo., Wednesday morning.