KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A man is dead after being shot by two Kansas City police officers, and some witnesses said the suspect shot first.
Police officers shot and killed an armed man near 35th and Prospect around 12:30 p.m. on Sunday afternoon when police were dispatched to a disturbance at a gas station. Witnesses said a man assaulted several women near the gas station before police arrived.
“When the suspect saw the officers he began running up prospect to 34th street. The officers pursued him, one was on foot, the other was in the car,” said KCPD spokesperson Darin Snapp.
Officers said as the man was running, he was holding his waistband as if he had a gun.
“About halfway down the block, he dropped the gun; the gun fell on the street. As he picked it up, he turned around and pointed it at the officers, and that’s when both officers fired and he was shot,” Snapp explained.
Witnesses believe the suspect was shot multiple times.
“He turned the corner, and the police turned the corner. Then I heard a shot, pow, and then pow, pow, pow, pow, pow. Then when I got to the corner, he was down,” said witness Royal Johnson.
At least one witness said the suspect fired his weapon, although that has not been confirmed by investigators. Those who saw the incident from start to finish said it could have been avoided.
"You want to get high, get drunk and come out here, you're putting yourself in harm's way. This is not the police's fault," Johnson said. "They didn't shoot first."
Several streets in the area were blocked for hours on Sunday afternoon as police interviewed witnesses and processed the scene.
“The community is our eyes; we need you to tell us what happened. We have the evidence of course at the scene and witnesses that we’re talking to, but the more witnesses, the better,” said Snapp.
Two KCPD officers are now on routine administrative leave pending a full investigation into this shooting.
As of Sunday evening, the suspect had not been identified. He is described as a black male in his 30’s.
Anyone with information should call 816-474-TIPS.