UPDATED: Two victims died at Ward Parkway, plus the shooter. An officer was shot and injured at a gas station on Bannister, but should be OK. And it all apparently comes back to a dead woman who was found in her home near 93rd and Cleveland earlier this afternoon. The Star's latest report is here.
We had extra people working today. I went to the scene at 93rd and Cleveland, which was comparatively quiet compared to the mall. The neighborhood's north of Bannister, west of U.S. 71 -- older, blue-collar. It's next to a large apartment complex where I've been for police calls, but this street is relatively peaceful, homeowners said. Talked to a few neighbors, who said the residence of the house in question was an elderly lady. They said she was nice, a longtime resident, but most said it had been a few days since anyone had seen her.
Reaction from local bloggers ...
General Blather: I blame the idiots in the media for sensationalizing this crap. I blame NBC for assaulting us with visions of that crazy asshat responsible for the Virginia Tech shootings two seconds after the last victim fell. Simple-minded peons now know how to get their faces on every major network without having to go through mindless auditions for crappy reality shows.
There's a fine line between insanity and genius: If you didn't know, there was a shooting at the Ward Parkway Mall today. The TJ Maxx that I work at is there. I was NOT at work today, and I'm perfectly fine, if a little freaked out. All the news said was that the shooting happened in a Starbucks (WTF?) and perhaps 3 civilians had been killed, and perhaps a police officer. This is very sad. There had been an increase in crime since the Bannister Mall closed.
The official KCPD statement: Officers were called Sunday, April 29th, at about 149 pm to the 3700 block of East 93rd street to check the welfare of an elderly woman. When the officers arrived, they discovered a dead woman inside the home. Officers were also told the woman's car was missing. The officers put out a description of the woman's car.
At about 311 pm, an officer on patrol saw the vehicle that was reported missing from the woman's home. The officer stopped the car at 1311 Bannister road. When he stopped the car, the driver began shooting at the officer. The officer returned fire but was struck in the arm by one of the gunman's shots. The officer put out a description of the vehicle to officers. It is unknown if any of the officer's shots struck the man. He was transported to an area hospital for treatment. He was treated and released. The officer is 44 years old and has been with the department since January 1992.
At about 327 pm, we received a call regarding an outside disturbance with shots fired at the Ward Parkway mall, 8600 Ward Parkway. While on the way to the call, the officers received information that a man was inside the mall with a long gun. Officers from Kansas City and Leawood, along with security from the mall, confronted the man inside the common area of the mall. During this confrontation, the man was shot to death by the officers. It is believed the dead man is the one who shot the officer on Bannister road. His vehicle was found in the parking lot. Additionally, two people were found shot to death on each side of the vehicle the man was driving.