KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A former detective for the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department was identified as the man officers shot and killed Monday afternoon.
Lionel Womack, 36, worked for the department until he was fired in 2020. Chief Karl Oakman said Womack still has family working for the department.
Last year, he also filed a federal lawsuit after a sheriff’s deputy in southern Kansas ran over Womack during a traffic stop and chase.
But his children say none of the issues he’s battled in the past few years change their memory of a loving dad.
Police first received reports around 2:30 p.m. Monday about a man standing in the middle of the street looking at the sky and jumping in front of traffic near North 57th Street and Interstate 70.
The department said as soon as officers arrived Womack started running at them. He eventually was able to get into the driver’s seat of one of the officers’ patrol cars. One of the officers struggled with Womack as he tried to remove him from the car.
They fought over the officer’s gun, and Womack was able to get it away from the officer. Investigators said Womack pointed the gun at the other officer, who shot him.
Womack was pronounced dead at the hospital.
His children, however, say their dad shouldn’t be defined by or remembered for the way he died, but by the way he lived.
Womack was a father of four, and his oldest are 17 and 15. Losing their dad in the way they did and at this time in their life is devastating.
“He’s just a really good guy. I’m going to miss him,” his son Korrey Womack said.
His kids Korrey and Kirsten said he was a good dad who supported his children, teaching them the way to get ahead is hard work.
“I felt that I could accomplish anything because if he was in my corner, then I was set,” Kirsten said.
Both Korrey and Kirsten take after their dad, track stars who tried to beat his times and and be just a little better than he was. Kirsten’s favorite memories are family road trips to far away places and how he instilled in his kids a heart for service.
“He was very loving and caring,” Korrey said. “I asked him the reason why he wanted to become a police officer, and he told me it was because he loved helping people, and that’s what I wanted to do.”
April Houston met her now ex-husband Lionel Womack when she was just 15, and she said they’ve remained close friends since their divorce.
“I don’t like the fact that he left me alone, but I have Kirstin and Korrey and I’m going to continue handling it because I know that’s what he would want,” Houston said.
The man they knew is the man they’ll remember. Troubles late in his life aren’t who Womack was to them.
“This behavior wasn’t always normal,” Kirsten said. “Everyone is always struggling with something, and you can always go get help. There’s always people there for you, and you don’t have to deal with it alone.”
Womack has two younger children and family who work for KCK police. Through their attorney, they asked for privacy and prayers as they grieve.