An Independence man told police he was suicidal when he stabbed a Kansas City Police officer in the chest Wednesday. The injured officer was able to briefly chase the man and hold him at gunpoint until backup arrived.


Jackson County prosecutors charged Austin Lewis, 24, with first-degree assault and armed criminal action after he allegedly stabbed the officer at a downtown Kansas City bus stop.


According to court documents, the officer had responded for a medical assistance call at Ninth Street and Grand Avenue and found Lewis inhaling an unknown substance and making suicidal threats. The officer called for an ambulance and waited with Lewis, and when Lewis tried to stand the officer put his hand on Lewis’ shoulder and asked him to stay seated.


Lewis then grabbed a kitchen-type knife and stabbed the officer once above his protective vest. When the officer pulled out his gun, Lewis dropped the knife and started to run, then stopped and laid down on his stomach as the officer told him. Lewis was still on the ground with his hands behind his back when other officers arrived.


Lewis said he knew his victim was a police officer and was having a conversation with him when he heard voices, got scared and felt cornered by the officer and stabbed him. He said he had been diagnosed with a mental illness and hadn’t taken any medication in two months.