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Court worker serving an eviction notice and a police officer fatally shot in Missouri, police say

Feb 29, 2024, 12:18 PM | Updated: 10:46 pm

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. (AP) —

A court employee trying to serve an eviction notice at a home in Independence, Missouri, was shot and killed Thursday and two police officers who responded to help him also were shot, one fatally.

“I’m very tragically sorry to report that we lost one of our own,” Independence Police Chief Adam Dustman said. He identified the deceased officer as Cody Allen, 35.

Dustman said Allen “always had a smile” and described the police department as a “broken family,” over his death.

The second officer, whose name wasn’t released, underwent surgery and is expected to recover, Dustman said. A third officer also “took gunshot rounds” and had minor injuries, the police chief said.

The shooting occurred when court employee Drexel Mark tried to serve an eviction notice. Mack or another civil process server also at the home called 911 saying Mack had been shot, Dustman said. The officers responded at about 1:10 p.m. and approached Mack to help him when someone shot at them, he said.

Helicopter video from KMBC-TV showed emergency vehicles converged around a large, isolated house in the middle of a field. The area is a mixture of woods and farmland with a smattering of houses on multi-acre lots. A church is mixed in among the homes.

The man suspected in the shooting was in custody and sustained minor injuries, Corporal Justin Ewing with the Missouri State Highway Patrol said at a news conference.

Independence Police Department spokesperson Officer Jack Taylor said no details were immediately available about what exactly happened before the shootings began.

Mack, who was in his early 40s, had worked for Jackson County for over a decade.

“We are devastated that a court employee, who is a public servant, was shot by a member of the public while performing their job,” Presiding Judge Jalilah Otto said in a statement. “Our hearts are heavy and our thoughts are with our employee, our entire Court family, and the Independence Police Department.”

More than a dozen officers lined up outside Centerpoint Medical Center late Thursday afternoon to escort the bodies to the medical examiner’s office. People hugged and consoled each other after the procession left.

Independence is a suburb of Kansas City, with about 122,000 residents.

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Associated Press reporters Lisa Baumann in Bellingham, Washington, Josh Funk in Omaha, Nebraska, and Steve Karnowski in St. Paul, Minnesota, contributed to this report.

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Court worker serving an eviction notice and a police officer fatally shot in Missouri, police say