KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Kansas City, Kansas, police detective helping respond to a report of a suspicious person near a racetrack was fatally shot Monday, and a parolee sought for questioning in that and an ensuing string of reported carjackings was wounded after a shootout with police in neighboring Missouri.
The detective was shot at least twice about 12:30 p.m. near the Kansas Speedway, underwent surgery at a hospital and later died, his department said in a statement.
“Our detective fought a good fight, but unfortunately he died from his injuries,” Kansas City, Kansas, Police Chief Terry Zeigler said in a tweet. “Thanks for the support & prayers.”
Police did not immediately release his name, though Carolynn Lancaster told the Kansas City Star the detective was her son, 39-year-old Brad Lancaster.
Police said the gunman, after wounding the detective, fled in the officer’s unmarked car, then hijacked a vehicle with two children inside before abandoning it in nearby Basehor, Kansas, leaving those kids unharmed.
Police publicly appealed for help in trying to find Curtis Ayers, 28, for questioning in the shooting. That Tonganoxie, Kansas, man ultimately was taken into custody in Kansas City, Missouri, when he crashed the car he was driving while being pursued by officers, then was shot by police after trying to carjack a woman’s vehicle.
That woman was wounded and taken to a hospital, Kansas City, Missouri, police spokeswoman Kari Thompson said without specifying her medical condition. Ayers was hospitalized in stable condition, police spokesman Patrick McCallop said.
“This individual was very dangerous. We are so happy that this individual is in custody,” Thompson told reporters later. “We are so glad this situation has come to an end.”
Carolynn Lancaster, who couldn’t immediately be reached by The Associated Press, told the Kansas City Star her son “was the rock of the family.”
Brad Lancaster was a U.S. Air Force veteran who had served two tours of duty overseas, including one in Kuwait, the newspaper reported. Lancaster said her son had a wife and two daughters.
Ayers has had longstanding trouble with the law, having served prison time in Kansas in recent years for convictions involving child abandonment, fleeing or trying to elude law enforcers, and interference with a law enforcement officer, online Kansas Department of Corrections records show.
Ayers previously had been charged in North Carolina with offenses ranging from misdemeanor theft to possession of stolen goods and burglarizing vehicles, according to court records.