Missouri officer shot, killed during traffic stop

Daniel Vasquez joined the North Kansas City Police Department in July 2021

Duty Death: Daniel Vasquez - [North Kansas City, Missouri]

End of Service: 07/19/2022


By Aaron Torres, Robert A. Cronkleton, Andrea Klick and Sophia Belshe
The Kansas City Star

NORTH KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The police officer shot during a traffic stop Tuesday in North Kansas City has died, according to the police chief.

The officer was identified as Daniel Vasquez, who had been on the force for two years, North Kansas City Police Chief Kevin Freeman said during a news conference.

Earlier, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office announced that a person had been arrested in the shooting. Freeman said the suspect turned himself in to the Kansas City Police Department. Freeman said he did not know what type of gun was used in the shooting.

Authorities said the officer was shot while trying to pull a driver over for having an expired temporary tag.

Vasquez pulled the car over about 10:40 a.m. near 21st Avenue and Clay Street in North Kansas City, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. The driver allegedly got out of the vehicle and began firing upon the officer.

Moments after the stop, an emergency alert tone came across police radios, according to radio traffic captured by Broadcastify.

“We have an officer down, 21 and Clay, 21 and Clay” the dispatcher said.

Other officers can be heard on radio traffic responding to the area.

“We got a gray Taurus westbound on 21st,” the dispatcher said.

Clay County Sheriff Will Akin said Vasquez was taken to a hospital by ambulance and transported to University of Kansas Health System in Kansas City, Kansas.

Officers escorted the ambulance from the scene of the shooting to a hospital. Shortly thereafter, dispatchers put out description on the car.

“Standby for information on a shooting suspect from North Kansas City,” the dispatcher said. “Information on a shooting suspect from North Kansas City: Westbound 21st from 21st and Clay around 10:40. It is a gray Ford Taurus with unknown temp tag expired in 2018. Occupied by a white male, brown hair.”

Law enforcement officials circulated a “blue alert” with the description of the suspect car. The alert is issued when a law enforcement officer is seriously injured or killed in the line of duty.

Officer Daniel Vasquez

Vasquez joined the North Kansas City Police Department in January 2021 as a recruit officer, according to a Facebook post from the department.

He was promoted to full officer status after he graduated from the Regional Police Academy in July 2021.

Before Vasquez became a police officer, he worked as a security officer for the Independence Avenue Community Improvement District, according to a story from Northeast News. The story reported that Vasquez received special recognition from his employer for outstanding service.

At the North Kansas City Police Department, Vasquez was “a shining star,” Freeman said. He said Tuesday was the first time a North Kansas City police officer had been killed in the line of duty.

“It’s going to be a struggle for a while for our officers to come to terms with this,” Freeman said.

Before Vasquez’s death had been announced, North Kansas City Mayor Bryant DeLong became emotional while speaking at a Tuesday afternoon news conference about the shooting.

“Every day, our officers put their lives on the line to protect and serve our community and today one of them was hurt doing just that,” he said. “The North Kansas City community’s hearts are with the officer and his family.

“It’s just a sad day for North Kansas City.”

Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 50 will set up a donation fund in Vasquez’s honor, Freeman said.

©2022 The Kansas City Star. Visit kansascity.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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