Kansas City, KS – A heavily-armed suspect was killed during a shootout with Kansas City police on Tuesday afternoon after he opened fire on officers near a busy shopping center.
The incident began just before 9:45 a.m. on Aug. 13 when a distraught, enraged man stormed into the Country Inn Suites near the Legends shopping center, The Kansas City Star reported.
The suspect, who was unarmed at the time, approached the front desk employees and made a chilling demand.
“He said, ‘I just murdered my wife. I’m heavily armed and very dangerous,’” hotel manager Jacob Honeycutt told The Kansas City Star. “And he said, ‘I’m going to the Legends – you better call the police.’”
The suspect then ran out of the hotel lobby, sped out of the parking lot in a red Maserati, and blew through several stop signs and a red light before he disappeared from sight, according to The Kansas City Star.
Honeycutt followed the man outside and was able to snap photos of the suspect’s vehicle before he called 911.
Kansas City police raced to the scene, along with the Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Office and the Kansas Highway Patrol.
They found the gunman waiting for them near the intersection of State Avenue and Village West Parkway, Kansas City Police Spokesman Officer Jonathon Westbrook told The Kansas City Star.
“We were able to locate him so quickly because he was stationary,” Officer Westbrook explained. “Given the information that he was heavily armed and dangerous, our officers were very tactical in how we approached the subject.”
As the officers made contact with the suspect, he suddenly raised a rifle and refused to put it down again, police said.
“Even as he had the rifle, our officers were still trying to negotiate and speak with him,” Officer Westbrook said, according to The Kansas City Star.
The gunman ultimately fired several rounds at the officers, who responded by returning fire.
Information regarding the number of officers who fired their weapons and how many rounds were fired during the exchange has not been released.
No bystanders or officers were injured during the shootout.
The gunman, who police said was not from the area, died as a result of his gunshot wounds.
The suspect's wife was located dead hours later.
Although police have not released the gunman’s identity, a witness and a news source identified him as 51-year-old Charles Pearson, KSHB reported.
Pearson’s estranged wife, Sylvia Ussery-Pearson, was initially reported as missing on Monday.
In October of 2018, Pearson was convicted of a domestic violence offense involving his wife, KCTV reported.
The Overland Park Police Department (OPPD) said they had been searching for Ussery-Pearson in multiple rural areas, according to KSHB.
They had also been pinging her cell phone, which led to Cass County OPPD said.
That search was called off when officers found a note in the killer's home indicating the location of her body in Benton County.
Legends Outlets thanked the police department for protecting citizens from the gunman in a tweet on Tuesday afternoon.
“As of 10:40am, the KCKPD and KCKFD are clearing the scene, and Legends Outlets is operating as normal business,” the tweet read. “Thank you to our security team, the KCKPD and KCKPD for keeping us safe.”
The Kansas City Police Department and the Topeka Police Department are handling the ongoing investigation into the officer-involved shooting, KCUR reported.