KANSAS CITY, Mo. – One of the men who stopped a woman with a gun at the DMV in Parkville said he was thinking about his son when he intervened.
Platte County prosecutors charged 33-year-old Vanessa D. Richey Wednesday with making a terrorist threat and unlawful use of a weapon.
According to court documents, Richey became upset at the long line in the license office just before 11:30 Tuesday morning. She allegedly walked up to the counter and said it was a matter of national security that she be helped before everyone else.
“I thought it was bizarre,” said Tom Hutsler, a bystander who intervened. “She was cussing at the staff and was upset about the wait time.”
When told she would have to wait her turn, Richey allegedly began cursing at staff and knocked a printer off the counter. After being told several more times she would need to wait, Richey allegedly told an employee she was going to get a gun and stormed out of the office.
“She made a comment ‘you haven’t seen the last of this’ or something and walked out,” Hutsler recalled.
Hutsler told his 12-year-old son to stay put when he and a retired KCPD officer followed Richey into the parking lot.
“I wanted to make sure she didn’t get back into that building,” Hutsler said. “I had my son to look after and a lot of other children, teenagers and other adults in there.”
Once in the parking lot, Richey allegedly pulled a gun from her bag, shot at the ground and started to walk back toward the DMV.
“I was behind a row of cars and I said, ‘You’re not coming back in here’ and she and I had a conversation for what seemed like an eternity, but it probably was just a minute,” Hutsler said.
Hutsler wasn’t thinking about his well-being but rather his 12-year-old son who was inside the building, with more than 40 others, hiding behind the counter.
“I was worried because I thought my dad was going to get hurt because I thought she was going to shoot him or someone else,” his son said.
Hutsler and the retired officer, who held Richey at gunpoint, managed to contain her until police arrived.
“I really didn’t feel like she wanted to hurt someone,” Hutsler said. “I felt like she was trying to prove a point, but I think at some point she was somewhat crazed. I’m glad it ended the way it did, and I hope that she gets help.”
Richey is being held in lieu of a $100,000 cash only bond.
She could face up to eleven years in prison if convicted on the two counts. A criminal search of Richey's past shows - prior to the charges Wednesday – she had been in trouble three times, all for traffic tickets.