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Man injured in shootout with KC police wanted in death investigation

By: KAKE News (KMBC) Email
By: KAKE News (KMBC) Email

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KMBC) — Police said a man who was injured in a police shootout that also injured a Kansas City police officer had been wanted for questioning in the death of a 19-year-old woman.

The shooting happened just before 11 a.m. in the 500 block of North Lawndale Avenue. Authorities said police were serving an arrest warrant out of Platte County at a home when someone inside opened fire, hitting a tactical officer in the leg.

Officers returned fire, taking positions of cover until it was safe to get the injured officer out of the area.

"They were shooting from inside of the house to the cops. And the police were shooting back to whoever started shooting," said Jaime Leon, through an interpreter.

Police waited outside the house until about 1 p.m., when a tactical team went into the house to find the man. Police said he had been suffering from a gunshot wound and was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Police later identified him as Joel Bravard, 26, and said that in addition to a Platte County arrest warrant, detectives also wanted to speak to him about last month's death of Michelle Russell.

Russell was found dead in a car in Independence last month, but police suspect she may have been shot at a motel near Interstate 29 and Barry Road.

Russell's family had gathered at the motel for a vigil in her memory Thursday and spoke about the news of the arrest.

"They called my husband and said that they had Joe in custody. There was a shoot out in northeast (Kansas City)," said her mother, Becky Russell.

"We all know in our hearts who did it and we've been told over and over who did it. We believe they do have him and hope they don't let him get away," she said.

They said the vigil was a chance to remember the young woman with the big smile whose life was cut short.

"We just want to honor her memory we're showing how much we loved her and how much she's missed and what a good person she was," she said.

Police said the officer who was shot, a 15-year veteran of the police department, has minor injuries.


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