KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- A case of mistaken identity led to a metro man getting caught in the middle of the search for a cop killer. Nearly a week after Captain Dave Melton was killed, a metro driver is still trying to clear up the confusion.
“The neighborhood was full of police, officers going up and down the street,” Johnny Luster recalled.
Luster said he was walking to his grandmother`s house near 17th and Quindaro on Tuesday to grab his car and go to the store. He had no idea that Melton had been shot until he drove off and almost a dozen police officers surrounded his car, guns drawn, yelling for him to get out of the car.
“I pretty much thought that was it for me, having all those guns, so I was pretty scared. I was treated like I was the shooting suspect, so you all can imagine how that is,” Luster said.
Luster said he was handcuffed, arrested and questioned for five hours. Police surrounded his grandmother`s home and eventually went in to search for any more suspects.
“Everybody knows my grandma in this community, everybody knows me. It was embarrassing,” the 25-year-old man said.
Eventually, police realized they had the wrong guy and Luster was released.
“It was bittersweet, I was glad to be released but at the same time, nobody apologized to me for taking me through, you know, what I went through,” he said.
“As soon as we figure out that you are not involved with what we have going on you are going to be released, and it`s unfortunate that your evening had to be spent like that, but again if it had been your family member or your friend, you would want us to do the same,” KCK Officer Amber Thomas-Hickerson said.
While Luster is still dealing with the emotional trauma he says was caused by the situation, he says his thoughts are also with the family of Captain Melton.
“I don't wish that on anybody, so my condolences to his family and I am sorry that happened to him and that`s why I waited to even talk to you, because I wanted to respect that he had a funeral coming up,” Luster said.
“He got family grieving, he had kids, too.”
The two men accused in a drive-by shooting, and later in Captain Melton’s homicide were arrested and charged last week. Jamaal Lewis, 20, faces capital murder in addition to weapons charges. Daqon Sipple, 18, is accused of shooting during the drive-by, but not for killing Melton because he was arrested before the fatal shooting.
Both are in jail, Lewis is being held on a $10 million bond and his next court date on September 23. Sipple is held on a $100,00 bond with his next court appearance on August 2.