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Kan. officer critically wounded in shootout at gas station

The officer was struck by gunfire in a shootout after the suspect led police on a pursuit that ended at a gas station


By Anna Spoerre
The Kansas City Star

FAIRWAY, Kan. — A Fairway police officer shot Sunday morning remains in critical condition nearly 12 hours after he was hospitalized, authorities said.

The update comes several hours after a police pursuit began in Lenexa and ended with a shooting at a QuickTrip in Mission. Authorities were pursuing two people in a vehicle they believed to be stolen.

The person who had been in the suspect vehicle and was fatally shot at the gas station was a man, according to Danny Chavez, a spokesman for the Lenexa Police Department, in a Sunday evening update. The suspect taken into custody at the scene was a woman. No other information on the identities of those involved has been released.

Chavez also did not release any additional information about the officer, including how long he’s been on the force.

Officers responded around 7:30 a.m. to the area of West 95th Street and Interstate 35 to reports of a stolen vehicle, Chavez said.

As officers were investigating the theft, a person driving the car believed to be stolen hit a Lenexa patrol vehicle, then drove away, Chavez said. Officers pursued the car north on I-35 until the driver stopped near Lamar Avenue and I-35 in Mission. Police said two people in the suspect vehicle then ran into a nearby QuikTrip.

Officers from multiple agencies followed the pair into the QuikTrip. From there, gunfire rang out, Chavez said.

The man was declared dead at the scene, Chavez said.

Chavez told reporters at the scene that it’s not yet known how many shots were fired, or by whom. Multiple agencies were on the scene at the time, including Lenexa police, Fairway police, Mission police and the Kansas Highway Patrol.

He later said that no further updates were expected Sunday evening.

The Johnson County Officer-Involved Critical Incident Investigation Team, which is comprised of various area law enforcement agencies, was still at the gas station as late as 5 p.m.

Fairway Chief of Police J.P. Thurlo issued the following statement:

“As you are aware, one of our police officers was shot and critically wounded this morning while trying to make an arrest in a neighboring community. Upon hearing the call for assistance, our officer courageously and without hesitation responded to help. These brave actions are reflective of the men and women in law enforcement in our community, and throughout this country, who put on the badge knowing the potential dangers they may face in the course of their duties.

At this time, the officer’s condition remains critical. We will have more information about the officer in the coming days. Tonight, I ask for thoughts and prayers for the officer and his family, and request privacy for the officer’s family and for the Fairway Police Department. We are grateful for those who have already expressed their support for our department, and who will in the days ahead.”

The Star’s Andrea Klick contributed.

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