The details remain to be sorted out, but it appears that a man wildly brandishing a gun was shot and killed by an off-duty Kansas City, Kansas police officer at the Lenexa Costco before local law enforcement could respond to the scene.
The off-duty officer had been shopping at Costco just before noon on Sunday when the man started yelling and pointing his gun. Miguel Robles, a Costco employee, told KCTV-5: “I saw a gentleman standing at the door yelling at everybody, looked like a .45 revolver in his hand, yelling, ‘Don’t close the doors on me!’ whatever else. I just turned around and I started clearing people away from the door and pushing people away. I saw kids and told everybody to grab their kids and keep going, keep going, keep going.”
Costco employee Ryan Vacca added, “It was this weird moment for me where I could hear and sense a lot of commotion going on, but it wasn’t really registering with me. I was just kind of watching it ensue.” Vacca said the man with the firearm was “yelling something about fire marshal and doors, sounded like gibberish.”
While the other customers ran away from the seemingly deranged man, the officer reportedly ran towards him and engaged him.
“You could hear from the front of the store,” a witness told KCTV-5, “was a bunch of people yelling, ‘Everybody get down! Everybody get to the back of the store! We just kind of ran through the neighborhoods to see how far away we could get from the building.”
According to early reports, the off-duty officer fired after the man began shooting. One customer reported hearing as many as eight shots. No customers were injured in the shooting although some customers had to be treated for panic attacks.
Costco was closed for the reminder of the day. More information will be provided as the story develops.