INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — A newly released report from the Missouri State Highway Patrol sheds light on the deadly shooting of Independence officer Blaize Madrid-Evans.
Madrid-Evans was shot and killed in the line of duty Sept. 15, 2021. He and other officers were checking a house after a report of a wanted man in the area when the man inside opened fire and killed Madrid-Evans. His training officer returned fire and killed the suspect.
Madrid-Evans had just graduated the police academy when he was killed. The 22-year-old had 18 shifts under his belt and was still in training.
The new report from the highway patrol provides insight from witnesses, associates and other officers on scene at the time of the shooting.
Four officers, including Madrid-Evans were sent to an Independence home after an anonymous 911 call who learned the suspect, 33-year-old Cody Harrison, had a warrant.
When they arrived at the scene, Madrid-Evans’ training officer, Joshua Gena, told investigators he asked the young officer to make contact with Harrison.
They approached the garage and Madrid-Evans told the man why they were there. Gena told MSHP Harrison immediately put his hands in his pockets, which prompted Gena to pull out his firearm. Harrison didn’t comply with commands to take his hands out, according to officers on scene.
Then, according to Gena, the shooting suspect said, “I’m not going back,” pulled out a gun and fired at Madrid-Evans. Gena said he doesn’t remember if the young officer drew his firearm or not.
Gena said he feared for his life and returned fire several times before handcuffing Harrison. He told MSHP investigators he saw Madrid-Evans with a gunshot wound and tried to provide aid. Madrid-Evans later died at a hospital.
Two other officers who were also on the call witnessed the shooting and gave similar accounts of the incident; one discharged his taser when he saw Harrison shoot and heard more gunfire. Prosecutors did not charge any of the officers involved in the shooting.
Harrison died from his injuries. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives determined that Harrison’s gun used in the shooting was stolen.
During the highway patrol’s investigation, they interviewed several witnesses who were at the home during the shooting or knew Harrison.
Several people told MSHP the suspect was known to carry a firearm and used drugs, the report says.
A woman told MSHP Harrison had likely been using meth and had been awake for about nine days, according to the report. She told investigators his exact words were “I’m gonna lay a cop down.”
A man living at the home also said he heard Harrison say he was going to shoot it out with law enforcement, according to the report. He described Harrison as homicidal and suicidal and said when he was high on drugs, he was in a “meth-induced psychosis.”
Two women at the home at the time of the shooting said the group had been doing meth and marijuana.
Troubled past, complicated legal system
As FOX4 previously reported, Harrison had been in and out of jail and court rooms for 10 years before this deadly shooting.
In 2018, Harrison was released from jail after seven years for shooting a gun from a car. Then in late 2020, Harrison allegedly broke into a former employer’s office and stole more than a thousand dollars in cash and equipment. He was charged with burglary and theft in the case.
A judge later released him in August 2021, but days later he was back in jail. Kansas City police arrested him in September 2021 when a police officer was talking to him and a gun fell out of his waistband. He was arrested for being a felon in possession of a gun.
But those charges were never filed; the prosecutor’s office said they didn’t receive the case until several days after the arrest.
Then Harrison allegedly didn’t show up for court in his burglary case on Sept. 13 and a warrant was issued. Days later, Madrid-Evans came face to face with Harrison, and both were killed.
📲 Download the FOX4 News app to stay updated on the go.
📧 Sign up for FOX4 email alerts to have breaking news sent to your inbox.
💻 Find today’s top stories on fox4kc.com for Kansas City and all of Kansas and Missouri.