An angry customer who had stolen a gun Thursday morning in Liberty shot a car salesman in Independence before fleeing back to Clay County, where he was stopped and then fatally shot by a sheriff's deputy.
The salesman was reported in serious condition with “multiple gunshot wounds” Thursday afternoon, Independence Police said.
The suspect, a 28-year-old man whose name has not been released, had bought a used car from Landmark on Noland Road in recent weeks, police said. About 11:30 a.m., the suspect shot the salesman during what appeared to start as a normal meeting or transaction, then fled the scene, police said. Other sales workers recognized the suspect, and were able to pull paperwork on file. Liberty Police then said he matched the suspect description from an armed robbery earlier Thursday.
“They were able to give us a good description,” IPD spokesperson Jodi Grooms said.
The suspect earlier stole a gun at Academy Sports + Outdoors near Interstate 35 and Missouri 291. According to KSHB-TV news, Liberty police said the suspect allegedly jumped across a counter and grabbed the gun after employees refused to sell it to him, and he might have brandished a knife during the robbery.
After the incident in Independence, Clay County sheriff’s deputies stopped the suspect near 172nd Street, just east of I-35 and north of Kearney. A sheriff’s spokesperson said deputies and Kearney police spotted the man’s vehicle about noon and followed it to a house where, officers later determined, the man’s family lived.
“All the dispatch centers started talking and put the pieces together,” said Captain Will Akin of Clay County Sheriff's Office.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating the ensuing officer-involved shooting.
“It's unfortunate when you have loss of life because we don't have full closure,” Akin said regarding the suspect's death. “We don't have a full story when that happened.”