ATCHISON, Kan. – The grandmother of the suspect involved in an officer involved shooting, which resulted in the death of a five-year-old girl, is speaking out about what happened leading up to Friday night’s tragic events.
A video the suspect’s family took just hours before her death shows five-year-old Cadence “Cady” Harris learning how to ride a bike in driveway serving as a playground for a family on a sunny day.
Even though Cady wasn't the suspect’s biological daughter, the suspect’s grandmother, Norma Campbell, welcomed her with open arms and said to them she was family.
Campbell says the driveway that held many firsts was the beginning to another story that ended in tragedy.
As Cady played on her bike, Campbell says the suspect got into an argument with Cady's mom.
"They've been living here because she was homeless and didn't have a place to stay. And my grandson wouldn't let them go to a shelter," Campbell said.
Campbell says Cady's mom ran across the street and called police. As she was on the phone with dispatch, Campbell says the suspect got in his car.
"He got up to leave and Cady always went with her dad," she said.
Campbell says Cady jumped in the white SUV and they left. Soon after, a police pursuit of the suspect and Cady was underway.
Campbell picked up the phone and called her grandson, and when he picked up, she heard words she says she will never forget.
"He couldn't take it any longer. And nobody could help him. And that he didn't want to live any longer," Campbell said. "I just asked him to stop, but he wasn't in that frame of mind."
She said her grandson hung up the phone. Police say he drove down Highway 7, got out of his car and started shooting at officers.
At first confirmation, police reported the suspect shot and killed Cady.
"We believe it was intentional," Leavenworth Police Chief Patrick Kitchens said.
That's what police reported Friday night, but Saturday morning they said they weren't sure who fired the fatal shot and Saturday evening police said officer did not fire at the SUV Cady was in.
"I don't know why they keep changing it back and forth," Campbell said.
Campbell doesn't know what happened after her grandson hung up the phone. She said all she knows for certain, is his love for Cady.
"He was the only daddy she ever knew," she said.