Officer’s Training Helps During Shootout with Suspect

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The number of officers killed in the line of duty in the metro is low compared to other cities and departments nationwide. Despite the low numbers, there have been plenty of close calls and near misses.

Police were involved in a shootout on March 29, 2011. Dash cam captured the raw, disturbing images.

"We exchanged anywhere from 12-13 shots between the two of us," said  Eagleberger said.

The last shot was fired from the suspect's gun. Lonnie Moore shot and killed himself.

"The number one rule is to go home, and I did," he said.

Andy Eagleberger first became a cop more than a decade ago. Over the years what he's learned helps keep him alive.

"During the gun fight, I didn't think about anything," he said.  "My training and instinct kicked in, training from academy, training from watching videos of similar scenarios on the internet or in training seminars we go to."

The day started like any other typical day. He had lunch with another officer. Their conversation was about a series of bank robberies. The FBI had just shared some information about the suspect and the car he might be driving.

"We were kinda joking around, 'hey let's find this guy before he hits another one'" Eaglerberger said.

Eagleberger got in his patrol car and found himself in a dangerous situation a few minutes later.

"I look over to my right and I see a red car and a guy matching the description from the photos we had seen," he said.

He didn't pull the suspect over right away. He followed the suspect and radioed dispatch.

"I have all my radio traffic done as far as location, vehicle information, which I feel was very crucial in this the way this went down," he said.

When Eagleberger turned on his lights, back up was on the way. The suspect decided this was going to end right away.

"This guy, he pulled right over," the officer said.

Eagleberger knew something was up and he was prepared.

"As soon as I shut my door, he opens door and he points a pistol at me," he said.

The incident was over less than a minute later. Almost a year later, he shared a little known fact about that day.

"When I saw him at the intersection at 39th and Lee's Summit Road I was actually on the phone with my wife," he said. "I look over and see the individual and say 'hey I gotta go, I will call you right back'".

It was sometime before he called his wife back. He says he will always remember what happened between those phone calls. He used his training and experience to survive but just like most police officers do, they continue to learn from every experience.

"Looking back on that, I really really make sure I tell her I love her every time I talk to her because you never know, that could have been my last phone call," he said.

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