A man sought for questioning in regard to 19-year-old Michelle Russell’s death and also involved in a police standoff has died, acccording to Kansas City Police Captain Tye Grant.
Joel Bravard, 26, died from a gun shot injury sustained in last week’s standoff with Kansas City Police, says Grant.
As previously reported, Kansas City Police were conducting a residence check last Thursday morning at the 500 block of North Lawndale Avenue in Kansas City to serve a Platte County warrant for a wanted subject. Once police arrived at the residence, they were greeted by gunfire from a person inside. Police were still outside at the time and one officer was shot in the leg. He was later treated for his injury and released. Eventually officers surrounded the residence. Once inside they found Bravard with a life-threatening gun shot wound. He was taken to a hospital. Grant reports that Bravard died at the hospital.
“The investigation will continue to determine the exact cause of gun shot injury,” said Grant. “But it is still undetermined whether he died from police gunfire or shot himself before police could reach him.”
If Bravard was able to regain consciousness, police detectives investigating Michelle Russell’s case wanted to speak with him. Grant says it is believed he was with Russell during the time of her death. Her body was found inside an abandoned vehicle near Centerpoint Medical Center in Independence on the morning of Nov. 22.
“Bravard was not a suspect,” says Grant. “They (KCPD detectives) thought he was with her that evening. Other than that, he was going to be asked to fill in some blanks about the case.”
Grant also mentioned the exact relationship between Bravard and Russell is still unknown. Detectives have not yet made a ruling on the case and the investigation continues, according to Grant.
“Whether it was homicide, a self-inflicted gunshot wound or the result of accidental gunfire, we still don’t know,” Grant said regarding the cause of Michelle Russell’s death.
If you have any information about the death of Michelle Russell, contact Kansas City Police at 816-234-5000 or the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS.