Po­lice re­sponse to shoot­ing cap­tured on au­dio

The Kansas City Star - - Front Page - BY ROBERT A. CRONKLETON, CORTLYNN STARK AND LUKE NOZICKA bcron­kle­[email protected]­star.com [email protected]­star.com lnoz­[email protected]­star.com

Po­lice of­fi­cers took cover be­hind ve­hi­cles and shields af­ter an armed at­tacker opened fired from in­side a Spring­field, Mis­souri, con­ve­nience store dur­ing a shoot­ing Sun­day night that killed four peo­ple, in­clud­ing one of the re­spond­ing of­fi­cers, ac­cord­ing to au­dio record­ings of po­lice ra­dio traf­fic.

“Ad­vise every­body ar­riv­ing on the scene, the shooter is shoot­ing out the win­dow,” one of­fi­cer can be heard say­ing on the au­dio cap­tured by the on­line web­site Broad­cas­tify.com.

“The of­fi­cer shot from in­side the store out­side. Take cover be­hind ve­hi­cles.”

The record­ings cap­ture po­lice ur­gently seek­ing to stop the shooter and get to the vic­tims. The car­nage un­folded over a pe­riod of about 15 min­utes, start­ing with re­ports of shots be­ing fired from a mov­ing car and end­ing with sev­eral peo­ple killed in a con­ve­nience store. The shoot­ing ended around 11:40 p.m. in­side the Kum & Go at 2885 E. Chest­nut Ex­press­way.

“In essence, we had a rov­ing ac­tive shooter mov­ing from the south side of the city up — we think up In­gram Mill and over to High­way 65 and then to Chest­nut where it ended at the Kum & Go,” Wil­liams said at a morn­ing press con­fer­ence.

In ad­di­tion to the dead, an­other per­son in the store and a sec­ond of­fi­cer were wounded in the shoot­ing. The sus­pect died of a self-in­flicted gun­shot wound, po­lice said.

“Both of these of­fi­cers showed sig­nif­i­cant brav­ery, were heroic in their ac­tions,” Po­lice Chief Paul Wil­liams said at a Mon­day morn­ing press con­fer­ence.

Wil­liams iden­ti­fied the of­fi­cer killed as Christo­pher Walsh, 32, a U.S. Army vet­eran who was ac­tive in the Army Re­serves and had been with the de­part­ment for more than three years. He is sur­vived by his wife and daugh­ter.

Of­fi­cer Josiah Over­ton, two-year vet­eran with the de­part­ment, was the of­fi­cer in­jured.

The three vic­tims killed in the shoot­ing, all men, have been iden­ti­fied as Troy D. Rapp, 57, from Spring­field, who was em­ployed by Kum & Go; Shan­non R. Perkins, 46, from Spring­field, who was em­ployed by WCA Waste Corp., and Matthew J. Hicks-Mor­ris, 22 from Spring­field, who was a cus­tomer in the store.

A sur­viv­ing vic­tim re­mains in crit­i­cal con­di­tion at a hos­pi­tal.

The sus­pect was iden­ti­fied as Joaquin S. Ro­man, 31, from Spring­field.

DE­TAILS OF THE SHOOT­ING

The first re­port of shoot­ing came about 11:25 p.m. near Bat­tle­field Road and South Lone Pine Av­enue. A dis­patcher told of­fi­cers that the gun­fire came from a car driv­ing through the area.

“As far as we know, noth­ing was hit and no one in­jured at this time — that we are aware of,” the dis­patcher said.

An­other ve­hi­cle was thought to be in­volved and peo­ple in­side the two cars may have been shoot­ing at each other, ac­cord­ing to the ra­dio traf­fic.

While of­fi­cers were on the way, po­lice re­ceived mul­ti­ple calls re­port­ing other shoot­ings.

“We are just re­ceiv­ing now mul­ti­ple calls for shots in the area of 2120 S. In­gram Mill — the Woodgate Apart­ments — as well,” the dis­patcher said. “Had sev­eral shots that just oc­curred.”

Other of­fi­cers headed that way. Mo­ments later, the dis­patcher said ad­di­tional calls came in re­port

ing shots fired near Sun­shine Street and U.S. 65 high­way.

“The ve­hi­cle was shoot­ing out of a win­dow go­ing north­bound 65 and ex­ited at Sun­shine for a small, dark-col­ored two-door car,” the dis­patcher said. “I be­lieve that’s go­ing to be our sus­pect ve­hi­cle.”

The di­rec­tion the car turned was not known.

‘SHOTS ARE BE­ING FIRED RIGHT NOW’

About 11:40 p.m., an­other call came in re­port­ing that a ve­hi­cle had crashed at the Kum & Go con­ve­nience store and shots were be­ing fired.

“Shots are be­ing fired right now,” a dis­patcher said. “Sounds like some­one has been shot. We are start­ing med­i­cal that way.”

Of­fi­cers Over­ton and Walsh were the first to ar­rive. They were shot at im­me­di­ately.

“The male is in­side Kum & Go and shots fired by him,” one of the of­fi­cers said.

Sec­onds later, one of the of­fi­cers said he had been shot. Emer­gency tones can then be heard on the au­dio and a dis­patcher checks on the sta­tus of the of­fi­cer.

“Shots fired at 2885 E. Chest­nut Ex­press­way, Kum & Go, one of­fi­cer shot,” a dis­patcher said.

Other po­lice units re­sponded while dis­patch­ers ad­vised that mul­ti­ple am­bu­lances were be­ing sent to the scene.

“Get an en­try team started now,” one of­fi­cer said. “Shields and every­thing now.”

As of­fi­cers were ar­riv­ing, po­lice wanted to know if the shooter had been con­tained.

“No,” was the an­swer that came back.

“The shooter’s still in­side — it’s still ac­tive,” the of­fi­cer said. “We need some­body in the back. We got an of­fi­cer down.”

Two of­fi­cers went to the back door, but couldn’t get in be­cause the door was locked.

“Ad­vise every­body ar­riv­ing on the scene the shooter is shoot­ing out the win­dow,” an of­fi­cer said. “The of­fi­cer shot from in­side the store out­side. Take cover be­hind ve­hi­cles.”

Soon, an of­fi­cer said an en­try needed to be made with of­fi­cers car­ry­ing shields.

“I’m ready to go,” an of­fi­cer re­sponded. An­other re­sponded that she and an­other of­fi­cer were on the west side with a shield.

One of­fi­cer told dis­patch­ers that he had the wounded of­fi­cer and was tak­ing him to a hos­pi­tal.

Mo­ments later a dis­patcher said they were still on the line with some­one in the store.

“They are say­ing that there are two peo­ple in­side the store shot,” the dis­patcher said.

Even though po­lice didn’t know where the shooter was, they en­tered the store.

“Shooter is pos­si­bly down,” an of­fi­cer ad­vised.

“Shooter down,” she con­firmed mo­ments later. “We are still clearing the build­ing.”

In a state­ment, Chief Wil­liams praised Walsh.

“Chris died a hero, rush­ing in with­out re­gard to his own safety to pro­tect mem­bers of his com­mu­nity,” Wil­liams said. “His coura­geous ac­tions serve as an ex­am­ple to us all.”

In a state­ment re­leased on Twit­ter, Kum & Go said the com­pany was grate­ful for the courage of the first re­spon­ders and pledged to sup­port the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“There are no words to ex­press the shock and sor­row man of us are feel­ing,” the com­pany said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the vic­tims, and their friends and fam­i­lies.”

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