INDEPENDENCE, MO (KCTV) -- Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating an officer-involved shooting 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.
A second officer returned fire, striking the suspect and killing him.
Officer Blaize Madrid-Evans, 22, was shot and critically injured. Around 10:45 p.m. Wednesday night, IPD released a statement that Madrid-Evans succumbed to his injuries and passed away. More information will be released Thursday as it becomes available.
Independence police say he'd just graduated from the Kansas City Police Academy this summer and was still completing his field training with Independence police.
The suspect was struck and pronounced deceased. On Wednesday night, MSHP identified him as 33-year-old Cody L. Harrison of Gladstone, Missouri. They say his next of kin has been notified.
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.
The authorities are also investigating the initial call, who made it, what the exact wording of the tip officers received was.
"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. At of 6 p.m., the entrance to Northern Boulevard was still blocked.
"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."
"Anytime first responders are involved, it’s just heart-wrenching," she added.
Some people in the neighborhood stopped to say a prayer.
One woman said, "Only God knows all the circumstances. I'm just here to pray for them."
We’re at 23rd and Northern Blvd where there was an officer involved shooting. We’re waiting on an update from police. pic.twitter.com/sxsinrczc4— Abby Dodge (@AbbyKCTV5) September 15, 2021
Officer Involved Shooting@ipdinfo— MSHP Troop A (@MSHPTrooperA) September 15, 2021
One IPD officer was shot & seriously injured
One suspect has been shot & pronounced deceased@MSHPTrooperDDCC was requested & will investigate the OIS
A briefing will be conducted at the Boost Mobile parking lot in approx 15min pic.twitter.com/wxhMVe2EPR
Brad Lemon, President of the Kansas City Fraternal Order of Police, spoke to the media following this incident. He said he's been at IPD's lodge since he got the call about the news.
He wouldn't comment on the specifics of what happened, but said the support for the officer has been swift and widespread.
He said: "Being with the Independence FOP the last couple hours, and watching the city manager show up and their HR office and city employees showing up and showing love to the men and women that do this job, waiting for the best possible news they could hear, it’s just -- and people showing up and giving them food -- it’s just been incredible to watch."
Additionally, Independence Mayor Eileen Weir issued this statement:
“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.”