Troopers: Teen shot, killed by Blue Springs police was on suicid - KCTV5 News


Troopers: Teen shot, killed by Blue Springs police was on suicide mission

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Sources tell KCTV5 News that the victim was Robert Keil. Those who knew the teen expressed shock. (Instagram) Sources tell KCTV5 News that the victim was Robert Keil. Those who knew the teen expressed shock. (Instagram)

Authorities say a 16-year-old boy shot and killed by police early Wednesday morning appeared to be on a suicide mission.

Sources tell KCTV5 News that the victim was Robert Keil. Those who knew the teen expressed shock.

The Missouri Highway Patrol said two Blue Springs police officers responded to burglary call about 5 a.m. in the 1500 block of Southwest 20th Street. When they arrived on the scene, Keil is alleged to have pulled out a weapon and confronted the officers. They felt their lives were in danger, so they opened fire.

Troopers say it appears Keil tried to commit 'suicide by cop.' Sources say Keil was armed with a knife and approached the officers. They also tell KCTV5 that he left a suicide note.

"Through the course of the investigation, we have determined this is possibly going to be a suicide" said Sgt. Bill Lowe with the Missouri Highway Patrol.

The Missouri Highway Patrol is investigating the shooting. Authorities say believe it was Keil who called 911 to report the burglary and gave a description of himself to police. It's thought Keil intended to lure officers to his home and force police to shoot and kill him.

"I have spoken to the family of the shooting victim this morning and they are quite distraught as you can imagine, and expressed concerns as well for the officers," said Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker.

Baker was at the scene Wednesday morning. Wednesday afternoon, investigators were working to confirm their belief that Keil placed the 911 call.

"It's something psychology. We can't understand what the motivations were of the individual," Lowe commented.

A neighbor who knew Keil said he can't believe what happened.

"I've known him probably ten years. My daughter is a year older than him. Very good friends. I can't tell you how many times he spent the night at my house. Very good kid, certainly would never ... I just can't even fathom. I'm completely baffled by what's taken place out here," neighbor Kevin Woods said.

Woods says he woke up to the sound of as many as five gunshots. When he got to the front door, he saw his 16-year-old neighbor laying in the street.

Pastor Richard Steensma with Timothy Lutheran Church has been with Keil's family, who he says are clearly devastated, all day.

"They're very concerned for the police officers and their well-being. They understand what the police officers did was their job. This is not a situation where they have any anger towards them," Steensma said.

Keil was a sophomore at Blue Springs South High School,

Friends say they'll keep their memories close.

"He was a really sweet guy," Alyssa Stone, a fellow sophomore, said. "We talked. We are really good friends from the seventh and eighth grades."

"He seemed like a very nice guy. He was very quiet, kept to himself, but his whole family is very nice and understanding. I imagine this is very hard on them," Danielle Sommers, a junior at Blue Springs South, commented.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Blue Springs School District issued the following statement.

"We are saddened by the loss of one of our students at Blue Springs South High School.  Additional support was available today and will be in the coming days for students and staff coping with this loss." 

On Wednesday evening, the Missouri Highway Patrol issued a press release on the incident.

"The Blue Springs Police Department requested the assistance of the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Division of Drug and Crime Control following a shooting involving two of the department’s officers.

Shortly before 5 a.m., a 911 call was received by the Blue Springs Police Department concerning a possible burglary in progress at a residence within city limits.

The suspect was described as a white male with long hair, wearing a black hoodie. Upon their arrival, the officers report observing an individual matching the suspect description holding a knife.

The officers report giving verbal commands to the suspect, which were ignored, and that he subsequently charged the officers with the knife. The officers say they feared for their safety and fired their service weapons at the suspect, striking him.

The officers report immediately attempting to render first aid and requesting emergency medical services. Despite their efforts, the suspect died at the scene.

During the course of the investigation, a suicide note was found inside the house, which indicated the man had planned to create a confrontation with law enforcement.

The investigation also revealed he had made the initial 911 call for law enforcement assistance and remained on the line with the communication center throughout the incident."

Steensma says funeral arrangements are still being made, and that everyone is also waiting to hear the results of the police investigation.

The two officers involved have been placed on paid leave pending that investigation, which is protocol for incidents of this nature.

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