The man who was shot by Independence police while trying to steal a police cruiser and later died has been identified as 36-year-old Christopher Sales of Kansas City.
Police say Sales was shot once while scuffling with a police officer has he tried to steal the cruiser late Monday morning on Blue Ridge Boulevard. Sales then crashed the patrol car into the porch of a nearby Blue Ridge Mobile Home Park unit in unincorporated Blue Summit.
Though officers performed life-saving measure before an ambulance arrived and Sales was rushed to the hospital, he died.
No officers or mobile home residents were injured, though some residents were evacuated briefly because Sales apparently hit a gas line when he crashed into the porch.
According to police, Sales originally had been driving a pickup truck later found to be reported stolen out of Cass County. At 10:49 a.m., an officer tried to pull over the pickup on a traffic violation at 23rd Street and Westport Road. Sales instead sped off and two minutes later crashed into a fence off northbound Blue Ridge Boulevard at Kehilath Israel Blue Ridge cemetery, on the western border of Independence.
Sales then fled on foot. Officers found him lying down in a wooded area and confronted him at gunpoint, but he was able to run away again and tried to get into a police cruiser. During the ensuing struggle between Sales and an officer, the officer shot him once. The crash occurred just a block north.
According to Missouri court records, Sales has pleaded guilty to numerous charges stretching back nearly two decades, including tampering with a motor vehicle, burglary and resisting arrest. The latest charges were after an arrest in Sugar Creek in 2015. In 2007, Sales was found guilty by a Cedar County jury on numerous burglary and theft charges.