Flags to be lowered to honor fallen Independence police officer

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The state of Missouri is honoring a fallen Independence police officer.

Gov. Mike Parson ordered all U.S. and Missouri flags be lowered on government buildings in Jackson County and fly at half-staff Friday in honor of Officer Blaize Madrid-Evans.

“At just age 22, and only two months after graduating from the police academy, Officer Blaize Madrid-Evans will be remembered as a selfless individual who was committed to helping others,” Parson said.

“Even as we mourn Officer Madrid-Evans’ senseless death, we are filled with hope because this brave officer’s organ donation will extend the life of Officer Mark Priebe. Officer Madrid-Evans’ final, generous act is a lasting contribution to the public good.”

Madrid-Evans was killed Sept. 15 after he was shot by a suspect who was also killed in the gunfire. The Missouri State Highway Patrol, now the lead investigating agency on the incident, said the officers were following up on a tip.

He was an organ donor. Following his death, Springfield police officer Mark Priebe received one of Madrid-Evans kidneys.

“In the last several days, I have cried and cried and cried,” said Priebe’s wife Heather. “Tears of joy that we had this opportunity and tears of sorrow for him and his family.”

The Priebes said they are trying to balance a range of emotions as Mark recovers from a kidney transplant that came from a tragedy that hits close to home.

“The fact that it was somebody I didn’t know but it was it was a young, brand new officer — my heart aches, it still does,” Mark said.

Visitation for Madrid-Evans will be held Thursday evening at Community of Christ Auditorium in Independence. It begins at 5 p.m.

His funeral will be held Friday morning. It is open to the public. The public is also invited to line the streets following the funeral for a procession.

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