A man driving a dead woman’s car shot a police officer in the arm Sunday, then opened fire in a parking lot and a shopping mall, authorities said. By the end of the day, four people, including the gunman, were dead.
Police fatally shot the gunman outside a Target store at Ward Parkway Center in south Kansas City, police spokesman Tony Sanders said.
Target employee Cassie Bradshaw, 19, was in a break room with two other people when they heard shots. She said her co-workers saw a man in his 50s with a rifle “shooting everywhere.”
“It sounded like maybe firecrackers at first, but then they got louder and louder and louder,” she said.
The violence began when police went to a home to check on an elderly woman whom relatives had not seen in days. The woman was dead, police said, and her car missing.
A police officer later spotted the car at a gas station and pulled it over. The driver started shooting, police said, hitting the officer in the arm. The officer, whose wound was not life-threatening, returned fire and shattered a window in the car.
The driver took off and was later seen at Ward Parkway Center. Authorities said he pulled into a parking space and started shooting at cars on both sides of him, killing two people. He fired more shots, wounding two people, then went inside the mall, police said.
“Everybody was leaving the mall when the officers ran inside,” Sanders said. “They confronted the man and ... shot and killed him.”
Although witnesses said the gunman was shooting inside the mall, Sanders could not confirm it.
“We have hundreds and hundreds of witnesses we have to interview and try to determine that,” he said.
Authorities did not say how the elderly woman died or whether the gunman was a suspect in her death. But they think the events are connected.
The mall, one of the city’s busiest, was shut and officers went through each store to see if anyone else might have been involved in the violence.
The names of the gunman and the victims were not immediately released.
The wounded officer was treated at a hospital and released.
The conditions of the other victims were not available.