Suspect in Independence shot during encounter with police dies

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- In a second incident in the FOX 4 viewing area, gunfire was reported during an encounter between a police officer and a citizen Monday morning near 19th and Blue Ridge in Independence, Mo.

According to police, the officer attempted a traffic stop on a blue and grey colored Ford F-150 pickup truck at E. 23rd Street and Westport Road, on a traffic violation. The driver of the vehicle failed to pull over and fled from the officer. The pursuit continued onto northbound Blue Ridge Boulevard and ended two minutes later when the suspect vehicle crashed into a fence at a cemetery in the 1900 block of Blue Ridge Blvd.

The suspect, and sole occupant, fled from the vehicle on foot. Other officers arrived to assist in the search. Officers located the suspect lying down in a wooded area and when confronted by the officers who had him at gunpoint, he stood up and ran off again. Shortly thereafter, an officer reported that the suspect was getting into and trying to steal one of the police cars of one of the officers on scene. A brief struggle ensued between the suspect and one of the officers. During the incident, an Independence Police officer shot the suspect one time.

The suspect continued to drive the police car north on Blue Ridge Blvd, until it left the roadway and crashed into a mobile home in the 1800 block of Blue Ridge Blvd.

Witness Marice Morris knows the woman who lives in the home. She said the woman and her 2 1/2-year-old granddaughter were just feet away, in the living room, when the man drove into their  home.

"She’s doing fine. She’s shook up of course and worried about her house. It’s awful close, we don’t know if they’re going to total the house or not," said Morris.

The suspect was critically injured by the gunshot and police officers immediately attempted life savings measures to treat the suspect.

An ambulance responded and transported the suspect to an area hospital but despite police officer and ambulance personnel efforts, the suspect was pronounced dead at the hospital. None of the officers involved was injured during the incident.

A computer check revealed that the pickup truck was a reported stolen vehicle out of Cass County, Missouri. This incident is still under investigation. Additional details will be released when they become available. The identity of the deceased suspect will be released pending notification of family.

Police say no one escaped, they are not looking for anyone and there is no danger to the public. The officer was not injured.

In a separate incident late Sunday night in Clinton, Mo., an officer was shot and killed by a suspect during a traffic stop. Read more about the suspected gunman and the officer killed in the line of duty, by clicking here.

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