Friend of suspect killed by KCK police says he’ll remember him as a good father who served his country

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- A fellow soldier who served with the man killed by KCK police on Tuesday says the way he died doesn't change his view of him.

He'll remember Charles Pearson as a loving father and decorated Army captain who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

On Wednesday, Overland Park police said they found Silvia Pearson's body in Arkansas. She was married to Charles Pearson, who died in a shoot out with KCK police Tuesday.

According to investigators, Charles Pearson told employees at a hotel near Village West that he killed his wife and was heading to the Legends next. He told them to call police.

KCK police said Pearson was waiting for them at his car near State Avenue and Village West Parkway when they arrived.

They attempted to negotiate, but Pearson fired shots at officers. Officers shot back, killing him.

Clinton L. Lee Jr., who served with Pearson in the U.S. Army 18th Airborne, was shocked by the news.

"Right now is just not a good time for me at all," Lee said. "He was a very good person. He would give you the shirt off his back. He was a very caring person that would do anything he could to help you."

Lee said Pearson retired a few years ago. He's devastated by the statements Pearson made to the hotel employee.

"If he did do that, then he probably felt guilty," Lee said. "So saying what he said was his way of saying, 'I did this, and I need help.'"

Lee talked to Pearson last week and said he seemed well and excited about a new career in the music industry.

Police said Pearson talked to loved ones Tuesday about suicidal thoughts.

"When we first met, he would often refer to the appointments he had to go to," Lee said. "And he was seeking help, and sometimes help is not always available when you need it. And there are also times when that help is not completely working."

Lee was Pearson's best man in his wedding a couple years ago when he married Silvia Pearson.

"Each of us deep inside have a place that we probably have never gone before and wouldn't imagine ourselves that we could go," Lee said. "And unfortunately, at times, he brought the worst out in her, and she brought the worst out in him, and that's just from what I've seen."

According to Lee, the couple separated but tried to reconcile.

"They were both great people," Lee said. "Silvia was beautiful inside and out. Chuck was a great person. But unfortunately, together they weren't always great."

The Department of Veterans Affairs sent FOX4 this statement:

"We encourage any veteran, family member or friend concerned about a veteran’s mental health to contact the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and press 1 or text 838255. Trained professionals are also available to chat at www.veteranscrisisline.net. The lines are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

"All VA facilities provide same-day urgent primary and mental health care services to Veterans who need them."

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