Independence police officer seriously injured, suspect fatally shot

INDEPENDENCE, MO (KCTV) — Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating an officer-involved that happened in Independence on Wednesday. 

Around 11:30 a.m., police went to a residential address at E. 24th Street South and S. Northern Boulevard after receiving a tip that a person in the area was potentially wanted.

There, they came across a male suspect who fired at officers. One officer was struck and seriously injured.

A second officer returned fire. 

22-year-old officer Blaize Madrid-Evans was shot and critically injured. 

The suspect was struck and pronounced deceased. 

Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating an officer-involved that happened in Independence on Wednesday.

MSHP’s Division of Drug and Crime Control will be investigating this officer-involved shooting. They say it could take weeks or even months to complete their investigation.

“To think that things can’t be resolved peacefully, even if you had a warrant. Why can’t it be resolved peacefully? Officers are trained to do their best, to resolve everything they can peacefully and it’s heartbreaking that violence of this nature could potentially take someone’s life, like this officer, and has taken on a life of another individual,” said Sgt. Andy Bell with MSHP. 

That shooting happened in a residential area that is very close to a busy section of 23rd Street. 

Employees at the nearby Central Bank of the Midwest said they heard what they thought were firecrackers. But then, they were soon surrounded by law enforcement and found themselves fielding calls from clients asking if they’d been robbed (they had not been). 

The shooting — which happened a distance away behind their business — put a halt on a lot of traffic. After law enforcement flooded the scene, road blocks quickly went up. 

“I was coming down off 23rd, coming from a DoorDash order, and I heard multiple shots fired,” said Durrell Johnson, who was in the area at the time. “There were a whole bunch of cops pulling people over as they came down the street. So we said, ‘OK, let’s do it,’ because we got a pause from DoorDash. We pull up and there’s nothing but cops here.”

People in the area say they’re used to police chases and crime; a lot of the crime is related to drugs. However, they were still shocked to hear an officer was shot and a suspect was killed in broad daylight.

“It’s always been a really good, tight-knit community — for the most part — in neighborhoods,” said Connie Donahoo, who lives nearby. “But, it just seems like everything is out of control now. Everybody’s scared. Everybody’s on edge. And, we just want peace and quiet in our city.”

Additionally, the mayor of Independence issued a statement following this incident. Mayor Eileen Weir said: 

“Every day the officers of the Independence Police Department put their lives on the line to protect the citizens of our community. We are ever hopeful that their daily interactions with the public will be peaceful so that they might return home to their families safely at the end of their shift. Today, that was not the case. At this time, our thoughts are with the officer, their family and the Independence Police Department. We know our citizens are already rallying behind the department and looking for ways to support them, but we encourage you to wait for further information.

To all of our officers and first responders, please know that we support you and honor the sacrifice you make to keep our community safe. Thank you for your service.”

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