One man was arrested after leading officers on a pursuit from Olathe to Mission early Wednesday morning.
Recorded radio traffic indicates the incident started as a shooting in the area of S. Center Street and Pawnee Lane in Gardner, about 12:50 a.m. Two suspects from that incident left the area in a dark-colored Honda Civic.
Johnson County Med-Act transported the shooting victim to an area hospital with a single gunshot wound to the leg. His injuries were described as non-life-threatening.
Olathe officers were informed of Gardner’s call and began watching for the suspect vehicle to enter their city. Shortly after 1 a.m., an Olathe officer told his dispatcher that he was attempting to make a traffic stop with a car matching that description on Old 56 Highway west of S. Robinson Street. The suspect vehicle did not stop, and officers began a pursuit.
Officers reported speeds of 50-85 miles per hour as they continued east on Old 56 Highway and then onto northbound Interstate 35. Several Olathe officers were able to hit the vehicle’s tires with stop sticks to deflate the tires.
The pursuit continued north into Lenexa, where a K-9 officer joined in. The stop sticks had shredded three of the car’s tires, and the driver’s side of the car was throwing sparks.
As the pursuit reached Mission city limits, the suspect driver allegedly swerved in the direction of a Mission officer who was attempting to get stop sticks down in front of the car’s one remaining tire. The officer was not injured.
The suspect driver lost control of the car on northbound I-35 just north of Lamar Avenue just inside KCK, where he was arrested.
The location of the car stop forced officers to block all northbound lanes of I-35 at Lamar. Traffic was allowed to reenter the Interstate using the Lamar ramp.
Recorded radio traffic stated that the driver told officers the shooting suspect was his passenger, and he got out of the car back in Gardner. Sgt. Steve Benz with the Gardner Police Department confirmed at noon Wednesday that the shooter in the initial incident is still at large.
Benz said the shooting suspect is believed to be a white male with red hair to his eyebrows who was wearing a dark colored hoodie and possibly sweatpants. He was armed with a handgun of unknown caliber.
Mike Frizzell is a freelance crime and fire reporter who runs Operation 100 News.