Crazed Gunman Enters Costco And Meets Off-Duty Officer With Gun
Lenexa, KS – An armed man was fatally shot at a Costco store by an off-duty police officer on Sunday, authorities said.
The gunman came face-to-face with an off duty police officer and a gunfight broke out.
The man had already been shot and killed by an off-duty police officer when investigators arrived, and was pronounced dead at the scene.
No other injuries were reported.
The off-duty officer, whose name has not been released, “was shopping, and just happened to be there when all of this occurred,” Lenexa Police Captain Wade Borchers told the Kansas City Star.
According to KCTV, police did not confirm whether or not the suspect shot his firearm, nor did they say what type of weapon he had.
Police said they have a preliminary identification of the gunman, and that they don't believe any other suspects are involved.
They are still investigating what the man said and did when he came into the store.
"I don't know what his intent was, but before anything really bad could happen, he was stopped," Capt. Borchers told KCTV.
Holiday weekend shoppers fled the busy store and parking lot when the shooting occurred, in what Capt. Borchers described as a “mass exodus.”
"I was working at the photo center, I was working on a photo scan, and I was looking at the computer screen, and then I heard some commotion happening around me," Costco employee Ryan Vacca told WDAF.
"And I turned and looked at the front door and saw a guy walking in just kind of yelling and screaming. One of my co-workers told me to drop, and I did," Vacca added.
WDAF was sure to point out that, according to Costco's website, it's against the company's policy to take a gun inside any of its stores. However, Kansas law requires buildings that ban guns to post signs about their policy, and WDAF reported there were no signs posted on the exterior of the Costco Lenexa building.
It's not clear if the news station is suggesting that signs would have prevented the gunman from entering, or prevented the gunman from being stopped by the officer.
Highway Patrol troopers obtained contact information from customers leaving the parking lot in order to aid the investigation, if necessary. Monday morning, shoppers and employees were permitted to return to the Costco parking lot to get their vehicles, WDAF reported.
Other nearby law enforcement agencies also responded to assist at the incident on Sunday.