Witnesses recount tense moments being near officers involved in shootout with suspect on 71 Highway

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Several people were in the area of 71 Highway and Bannister Road when the shots were fired Monday afternoon. That includes one woman, who says she drove right past an officer with a weapon drawn. Seconds later, she heard shots fired.

Police say Curtis Ayers fired shots at a woman he was trying to carjack before police shot him. Being that close to gunfire didn’t sit well with those who experienced it.

"Very scary. Very, very scary," said Karla Bardwell.

Bardwell was driving along, apparently before police were able to barricade the area off during an officer-involved shooting with Ayers.

“I looked to my right. There was an officer with a gun and I saw the cops directly in front of me,” said Bardwell.

What happened next was even more frightening for her.

“The cop said 'go, go, go.' I immediately turned. Once I turned, two gunshots were fired,” said Bardwell.

FOX 4 spoke with Bardwell hours after it all happened, when the reality of what she witnessed started to really sink in.

“I feel blessed, and I feel that God had his hands on me,” said Bardwell. “Shots could have been fired at me. Shots could have ricochet off my vehicle.”

“This is kind of new to me. I don’t feel like getting shot,” said Ron Gillispie.

The fired shots also created tense moments for him and his crews as he worked nearby.

“We heard a big bang and then that’s when we decided we better stand on the side of the truck just to protect ourselves,” said Gillispie.

While the incident indeed made for some scary moments, two police departments worked together quickly to keep the situation from being a lot worse.

"Our officers and their officers worked well together today, which culminated into a positive result. We are now glad we have this dangerous individual, this reckless individual in custody for this awful crime today,” said Sgt. Kari Thompson with the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department.

Both Ayers and the woman he’s accused of shooting and trying to carjack were listed in stable condition Monday evening.



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