Neighbor describes 18-hour standoff that followed officer-involved shooting

Published: Mar. 1, 2023 at 10:19 PM CST
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - A standoff that lasted nearly 18 hours in Kansas City, Missouri, is finally over.

“Basically was like watching an action movie,” said Jason Hemby, who lives nearby.

Hemby said he was in his house just off Blue Ridge Boulevard in KC when he noticed something odd.

“I just saw the lights flashing outside, so I went out the back door,” Hemby recalled. “About that time I walked out, I heard some talking and some gunfire. Of course, my daughter ran up and was like, ‘What’s going on?’ and I was like, ‘I think there’s a shootout going on.’”

The police said officers knocked on the door of a home on Blue Ridge Boulevard near 23rd Street South for a search warrant on Tuesday at around 9:30 p.m. A SWAT team then tried to get in and gunfire erupted. Three officers were hit and taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Meanwhile, back at the scene, a standoff that would keep Hemby up all night had begun.

“The kids were kind of freaked out a little bit, but it was more like an adrenaline thing to see what was going on next,” Hemby said.

He said he saw SWAT teams running around and what appeared to be snipers nearby.

After roughly 18 hours the standoff finally ended.

Three people were taken into custody. One man was found dead in the home.

“We don’t want to put our officers or anyone else in harm’s way again,” explained Sgt. Andy Bell with the Missouri State Highway Patrol. “That’s why it took so long. To use technology, using the video cameras, to just comb through that house getting more and more confident to enter the house physically.”

The U.S. Department of Justice identified 50-year-old Jimmie Lewis Jr. as one of the people arrested during the standoff. Officials say he is facing federal charges for alleged crimes unrelated to the standoff.

As for the people living in the neighborhood, they are just happy the threat is over and the injured officers are recovering.

“It just goes to show the cops are doing their job and doing their duty,” Hemby said. “You are kind of freaked out a bit, but that’s what their job is. And, I’m sorry to see that they got hurt and that the man died.”