VIDEO: Gunmen Open Fire On Officer During Chaotic High-Speed Chase
Kansas City, MO – Kansas City police have released dashcam footage that showed suspects firing at officers during a high-speed chase on Aug. 8 (video below).
The incident began shortly after 9:30 p.m., after an officer spotted a red car parked in an abandoned lot near Rockhill Road and 65th Street, The Kansas City Star reported.
When the officer shined his spotlight on the suspicious vehicle, the driver sped away.
The officer followed the car to a nearby McDonald’s restaurant, and watched the driver go inside, according to court documents.
The driver was later identified as 25-year-old Darryl Nichols.
Two other men, 18-year-old Michael Fleming and 18-year-old Ruhwan Johnson, were also inside the vehicle at the time, The Kansas City Star reported.
When Nichols came back out of the fast-food joint, he jumped into the passenger’s seat, and the officer pulled in behind the car to initiate a traffic stop.
The driver managed to quickly turn left into a gas station, at which point the officer activated his lights as the car sped off through residential areas, The Kansas City Star reported.
When the fleeing suspect flew through a red light at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Meyer Boulevard, the officer deactivated his lights, but continued to chase after the car.
A moment later, someone inside the vehicle opened fire, dashcam footage showed.
“I think they’re shooting at me now,” the officer said over the radio.
He reactivated his lights, and more shots rang out.
“Yup – they’re firing at me,” he confirmed, as he provided more information about the location of the chase.
Dashcam footage showed the muzzle blasts coming from the suspect’s vehicle as the gunfire continued through a residential area.
“High-caliber weapon!” the officer shouted. “Get me some cars!”
The chase continued at speeds of up to 93 miles per hour, WDAF reported.
“One has a handgun, one has a high-caliber firearm,” the officer said in the video. “They shot my vehicle.”
The suspect swerved through traffic on Highway 71 as other officers joined the chase.
Minutes later, another officer performed a Pursuit Intervention Technique (PIT) maneuver near Locust Street and Truman Road, and brought the suspect vehicle to a stop, KMBC reported.
Officers swarmed the car, and took all three men into custody without further incident, according to The Kansas City Star.
Investigators located a rifle and two handguns inside the suspect’s vehicle, and have recovered 20 shell casings thus far.
Many of the rounds the suspects fired on 67th Street struck nearby homes and vehicles, KMBC reported.
“It was really freaky,” resident Marteila Tabron told the news outlet. “Everybody was a little shook up, especially the kids.”
The gunfire sent another man, Bill Rader, diving down a hill to avoid being struck.
Rader, whose garage was struck by at least three rounds, said he’s had enough, KMBC reported.
“I was talking to my wife. We’re getting ready to pack up, sell out. I’m going back to Arkansas,” he told KMBC. “The criminals are running the city now. That’s what it feels like to me.”
Resident James Williams said that one of the gunmen’s bullets punched a hole through the driver’s side door of his truck.
“Seemed like a movie or something,” Williams told KMBC. “It’s got to stop. I don’t know why people are like that.”
Police never returned fire during the chase, and no officers or citizens were injured during the incident.
The officer the gunmen shot at is a two-year veteran of the force, KMBC reported.
Kansas City Police Department (KCPD) spokesperson Officer Darin Snapp praised the officer for how he handled the harrowing encounter.
"He's a young officer, doesn't have a lot of time on," Officer Snapp told KSHB. "He did an awesome job in this deal. Thankfully, he's not injured for one, but he did a great job letting officers know where he was at and where he needed help."
Officer Snapp said it was clear that the suspects were willing to hurt anyone who got in their way.
"This is the worst of the worst," he told KSHB. "If they're going to shoot at police officers, you know they're going to shoot at whoever comes in there…No telling why they're shooting at officers. That's what we're going to try to get down to. Who knows what they've been up to? They might be wanted for murders; they might be wanted for robberies."
Nichols, Fleming, and Johnson have each been charged with resisting arrest, unlawful use of a weapon, assault on a law enforcement officer, and two counts of armed criminal action, according to The Kansas City Star.
“The community and the prosecutor’s office is grateful for the officer’s steady demeanor during the entirety of this criminal incident and that the suspects were apprehended without harm,” Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said in a statement. “It is a credit to the officer and his training that no one was further harmed by the behavior of the suspects.”
You can watch dashcam footage of the high-speed chase in the video below: