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Highway Patrol assesses shooting incident

By Mike Genet mike.genet@examiner.net

Like other law enforcement agencies, Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers train for live-shooter scenarios. 

But, as Sgt. Bill Lowe said Tuesday, “We’re used to training to go into another building, not our own.”

Investigators are trying to determine why a Kansas City man showed up Monday evening at the Highway Patrol’s Troop A headquarters in Lee’s Summit, fired a rifle round and refused to drop the gun, leading troopers to shoot and wound him outside the building.

The man, identified Tuesday as 27-year-old Tayland Rahim, on Wednesday remained hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries and had not been charged, though Lowe said during a news conference he anticipated that would happen. 

If the Highway Patrol makes any changes to access protocols, Lowe said, it wouldn’t happen overnight, as Monday’s incident was rare. 

“This has never happened in the history of the Highway Patrol,” he said. “Nobody has ever come to one of our buildings and fired. This is a unique event, but you still know the building is safe.”

The agency had no prior contact with Rahim other than a traffic citation in 2019 when he was a truck driver, Lowe said.

The shooting happened about 9:40 p.m. Monday outside the Highway Patrol building off Southeast Blue Parkway, next to Lee’s Summit High School near U.S. 50 and Missouri 291. According to the Highway Patrol, a trooper outside the building saw Rahim park to the west of the building, normally an area of employee parking, then get out of his vehicle with a rifle, and the man refused commands from the trooper.

Rahim then fired a shot toward the back of the building and moved toward the main entrance. As he continued to refuse commands, a trooper who had stationed at a side door and another trooper both fired toward Rahim, injuring him.

“Thankfully we had a trooper outside the building and one inside the building,” Lowe said. “We have unarmed people in the building, and they didn’t sign up for this. 

“When he got here, he was set to do some harm, so when he got here he didn’t waste any time. He backed into the spot and didn’t wait but a few seconds to get out.”

While shooting a civilian is not something taken lightly, Lowe said, “Any time we have to use deadly force, it’s to stop the threat.”

Lowe said the troopers involved have six and 16 years experience with the agency, respectively.

The Highway Patrol’s Division of Drug and Crime Control is investigating the shooting.

Given the tense situation, Lowe said, a package found in Rahim’s vehicle was deemed suspicious, and the Lee’s Summit Police Department’s bomb squad later removed the package and found it to be harmless. Kansas City Police also assisted investigators in recovering evidence from Rahim’s home in Gladstone and recovered three guns and ammunition.