A routine traffic stop suddenly took a violent turn for an officer who had to fire his weapon Sunday. The State Line Road exit ramp was shut down off of east I-435 for several hours Sunday morning as police investigated.
"It is very unusual in Leawood, we don't deal with this very often," said Maj. Troy Rettig with the Leawood Police Department. A 22-year veteran of the Leawood Police Department had to react quickly after back-up officers who showed up at a traffic stop to assist him suddenly started screaming at him.
"They just yelled, 'Gun. Gun. Gun.' And then the officer that was involved knew what was going on," said Rettig. According to Leawood police, the officer pulled over a white Mustang for speeding and erratic driving just after 3:15 a.m. Sunday off of I-435 and State Line Road. When the officer was speaking with that driver, a friend of the driver who was in a gray Chevy, parked in front of the Mustang.
As the officer went to speak with the person in that car, officers who arrived to assist saw the driver of the Mustang toss out a gun, and then he suddenly started driving right for the officer who pulled him over. "The initial driver threw a gun out of the car, and the officers who responded let the initial officer know a gun was in play. And that time the initial car drove at the officer and right at him. He shot at the car," said Rettig.
The officer who opened fire was not hurt, but the driver of the Mustang that fled the scene was not so lucky. "We were contacted later by the Kansas City, MO Police Department that they had the driver of the car at Truman Medical Center, and he has non-life-threatening injuries," said Rettig.
The suspect remains in the hospital and will be taken into custody.
In the meantime, Leawood police are relieved good teamwork by the officers at the traffic stop made it possible for police to walk away unharmed. "They were very alert, and they made sure he was aware at the first sight of that gun," said Rettig. In the meantime, the officer who opened fire is on routine paid administrative leave pending the outcome of this investigation.
The driver of the Mustang is in the hospital, and that car was missing earlier on Sunday until it was found in Grandview. Police have not said whether the driver of the other car will be charged in the incident.
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