Three Kansas City detectives are recovering after being shot Sunday while investigating a suspect believed connected to the killing of a university student from India.
The shooting happened just after 12:15 p.m.
According to police, undercover detectives and tactical operations were working an ongoing investigation at the Sky Vu Motel at 8300 E. 40 Highway. The area is near I-70 and 40 Highway.
They were surveilling a person of interest in the homicide that happened in the 5400 block of Prospect, in which 25-year-old UMKC student Sharath Koppu was killed.
During surveillance, they followed that person of interest to another location.
At that time, two detectives were hit by gunfire. The suspect then left the scene with a passenger in the car.
The vehicle and passenger were found a short time later. That passenger was taken into custody.
Authorities then began looking for the person of interest in the area of 30th and Topping about an hour later and a standoff ensued. There, gunfire was exchanged with the suspect at least three more times. One additional detective was hit by gunfire and was also taken to the hospital.
When the person of interest left the residence, another firefight happened and the person of interest was killed.
All three detectives sustained non-life-threatening injuries and are expected to be alright.
"Thank God," Kansas City Police Chief Rick Smith said.
Police said they are not looking for any additional people in connection with the shooting of the detectives.
Police investigating "numerous scenes"
As of 6:45 p.m. Sunday, the department said they are investigating "numerous" scenes, which will likely extend into Monday.
Below is a picture of the car the officers were in when they were fired upon: Crime Scene processing will continue through the night and likely into tomorrow. These photos are from the original scene on 40 hwy. Officers were inside this car when they were fired upon by the suspect pic.twitter.com/6zzt1yGkF1— Kansas City Police (@kcpolice) July 16, 2018Friends, colleagues of Koppu praying for officers
Friends and colleagues of Sharath Koppu are relieved about the suspect being found, but are concerned about the police officers.
Anjana Singh is the spokesperson for the Indian Association of Kansas City. She said everyone's prayers are with the Kansas City Police Department and the family of Koppu.
"Around 3:30, our president got this information that the shooter got killed and that’s when we also heard about the three officers that got shot," Singh said. "We are sad to hear that news."
She says the next step is to focus on all the families impacted.
UMKC releases statement
The University of Missouri-Kansas City released a statement Sunday about the development: “On behalf of the entire UMKC family, I want to express our gratitude to all of the brave first responders involved in today’s events, especially the three injured officers, along with our hopes for their speedy and full recovery. These public servants risked their lives to pursue justice for our murdered student, Sharath Koppu. Our university will continue to pursue solutions to the problems of crime and violence that bedevil urban communities across America, as well as solutions to the economic and social problems that drive these issues. We must come together as one community now to pursue peace and healing.”Related coverage:
The KCFOP released the following statement: "Friends,
Today’s events which led to three of our officers shot is another reminder how dangerous the job we do can be. We are extremely grateful all three officers are expected to recover but we need to be mindful of the mental toll incidents like this can have, not just on the officers injured but those who witnessed and responded to the various scenes. If you or a fellow officer needs someone to talk to about what’s happened, we are here. The policy for our peer counseling bill, which was signed into law recently, is still being written but the protection for confidentiality is in place. I am extremely proud to be a part of KCPD and the response today from our department and friends in neighboring jurisdictions once again shows us the strength of our Blue Family. Please keep the officers who were injured and everyone involved in today’s events in your thoughts and prayers.
Brad Lemon President, KCFOP Lodge #99"
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