KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) — Two Kansas City, Missouri police officers were shot Thursday, leaving one fighting for his life.
Around 10:30 a.m. near Independence and Hardesty Avenues, an officer and a RideKC bus driver were shot while they tried to stop a robbery suspect, who was also shot.
Both the officer and bus driver are expected to be OK. Police said the officer was released from the hospital Thursday afternoon.
Missouri Highway Patrol says the Ride KC driver witnessed the robbery, and then the suspect boarded the bus.
“As she was transporting occupants of the bus, she notified the Kansas City Police Department of what she’d observed,” said Missouri Highway Patrol Sgt. Bill Lowe.
The driver, thinking on her toes, took critical steps to keep everyone on board safe.
“She was under a tremendous amount of pressure, and for her to think quickly to not only notify KCPD, but also decide to drive a little slower than normal to make sure officers were able to arrive on scene–that was extremely heroic on her part,” Lowe said.
A KCPD officer was able to climb onto the bus from the back entrance. But that move caught the suspect’s attention. The suspect pulled a gun, firing and hitting the officer.
“The suspect then turned towards the driver, shot the driver. As the suspect left the bus, he was engaged in gunfire with other KCPD officers that arrived on scene,” Lowe said.
Officers shot the suspect, leaving him critically injured.
The officer shot is an 18-year veteran of KCPD. He, the bus driver and suspect haven’t been named yet as Missouri Highway Patrol continues to investigate.
The second officer-involved shooting happened when officers were responding to a disturbance near 31st and Van Brunt around 4:30 p.m. on a man waving a handgun around.
The suspect ran when officers arrived and shots were then fired hurting one male officer who was shot in the head.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol believes there was only suspect involved, who is reported to be dead, but are looking for others who may have been involved.
KCPD Chief Rick Smith spoke to reporters Thursday evening and said the officer is currently at Truman Medical Center in surgery and is in very critical condition.
“We talk about the violence in this town and we can see where this is headed,” Smith said. “As we had to go and bring a mother to the hospital today, her first words were ‘I’m angry about all this violence in this city.’ I hope, I plead that everyone hears those words and we work 10 times harder than we did today on violence in this city.”
Smith said this is not a time for politics but a time for awareness and for people to understand the situation officers face and how important it is as a city to face it together and be realistic about the expectations.