An off-duty police officer shot and killed a man who brandished a gun inside a Costco Wholesale store on Sunday.
Police got a call about 11 a.m. about a man who was brandishing a firearm at the store. Witnesses said that the man was yelling and pointing a gun.
When officers arrived, they found that the man had been shot by someone inside the store and he was pronounced dead.
They then learned that an off-duty police officer, who was shopping there, engaged the man inside the store and fatally shot him.
On Sunday evening, Kansas City, KS police confirmed it was one of their officers who shot the man.
No one else was hurt.
Police said at this time, they could not describe the suspect. However, they said they have a preliminary identification. Witnesses told KCTV5 he was a tall, older man. Police said they are not looking for any other suspects.
"I don't know what his intent was, but before anything really bad could happen, he was stopped," said Captain Wade Borchers with the Lenexa Police Department.
At last check, police could not confirm whether the man shot his firearm.
There was a large police presence at the store on 9350 Marshall Drive for several hours as Lenexa police officers and authorities from surrounding agencies investigated. Overland Park, Olathe, Shawnee, and Mission Hills police were among those who responded to assist.
The Johnson County Officer-Involved Shooting Team is handling the investigation.
Witnesses said they were evacuated out of the building around the time of the incident. The store was rather full, as is typical for a Sunday afternoon.
Some witnesses told KCTV5 what the situation was like:
"You could hear from the front of the store," one woman said. "A bunch of people were yelling, 'Everybody get down! Everybody get to the back of the store!'"
"We just kind of ran through the neighborhoods to see how far away we could get from the building," she said. "I just really hope and pray that things get better across the country."
Miguel Robles, a Costco employee, said, "I saw a gentleman standing at the door yelling at everybody. It looked like a .45 revolver in his hand. I just turned around and I started clearing people away from the door and pushing people away. I saw kids and told everybody to grab their kids and keep going, keep going, keep going."
Costco employee Ryan Vacca said, "It was this weird moment for me where I could hear and sense a lot of commotion going on, but it wasn't really registering with me. I was just kind of watching it ensue." Vacca said the man was "yelling something about the fire marshal and the doors. It sounded like gibberish."
Bill Payne was shopping with his friend when the incident happened. He said, "I was looking at the TVs and somebody hollered, 'Man coming in with a gun!' We ran towards the back and out the side door," he said, "and when I got to the back, I counted 8 shots. It's scary."
Police shut down the area and customers were forced to leave their cars in the parking lot as officers investigated the shooting. Those vehicles were later able to be picked up.
Employees have returned to the store, which is expected to reopen on Monday.
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