KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Many in the busy Village West area, especially guests at the Country Inn & Suites, are shaken after police shot a suspect Tuesday morning.
Many of them said they saw the shooter himself as he came and left the hotel.
Guests were stunned after learning more about what happened around them, and they’re glad police were able to get to the suspect, identified as Charles Pearson, before he started targeting innocent bystanders.
Cyndee Haviland is visiting the Kansas City area with her family from Michigan and staying at the Country Inn.
“Wow, that’s crazy. He had a death wish,” Haviland said. “That’s crazy. The guy came running out, jumped into a car, a red sports car, and squealed out of here.”
The Country Inn manager, Jacob Honeycutt, said just before he went back out to his car, Pearson confronted him and one of his employees inside.
Honeycutt said Pearson looked disheveled and angry. He said Pearson told him he’d killed his wife, and he was armed and dangerous.
He told him he was planning to head to the Legends Shopping Center, so he better call police — and that’s just what he did.
“Wow, that’s scary,” Haviland said. “That’s very scary because what if he had decided to just started shooting right where he was at. That’s really scary, especially with everything that’s going on today.”
Police said they caught up with Pearson at the intersection of State Avenue and Village West.
K.C. Huth and his teammates on the Cleburne Railroaders are in town playing the Kansas City T-Bones and staying at the Country Inn. Huth said he and another player went out to get coffee and saw the scene unfold.
“There was policemen everywhere, guns drawn, and we didn’t know what was going on,” Huth said.
“I left to go where I was going, and the police had the streets all blocked off, and they were standing outside their cars with their guns drawn. And up the hill I could see the guy in the red car just standing outside his car,” Haviland said.
Police said Pearson shot at them five or six times, and they fired back, killing him.
“It just goes to show you never know what’s going to happen in this life,” Huth said. “And to me, I don’t want to take any days for granted because, not that anyone did get killed because of the guy, but if the police weren’t here and he just went out and started shooting, it could have been a horrible day.”
After Honeycutt called police they were able to alert the Legends Shopping Center nearby.
Several businesses told FOX4 they were put on lockdown until the situation was safe, and some had customers hide in safe zones out of sight from the street.