Escapee had set fires inside the apartment
Robert A. Cronkleton, The Kansas City Star
Jan. 14—Police were forced to don firefighters’ protective gear after an escapee set a Kansas City apartment on fire during a standoff early Friday, a police spokesman said.
The man, who had a Johnson County Sheriff’s Office warrant for an escaping, was found dead inside the apartment by police and firefighters, said Capt. David Jackson, a spokesman for the Kansas City Police Department.
The circumstances surrounding the man’s death are being investigated, but police were not involved in the cause of his death, Jackson said.
“He was discovered in a bedroom,” Jackson said. “We are waiting on body exam in order to determine cause of death. To be clear. the police did not fire any shots.”
Police responded about midnight to an apartment building near 41st Street and Kenwood Avenue regarding a wanted party, Jackson said.
The caller told arriving officers that the man, who was in his 40s, was inside her apartment and that he was an escapee. At some point, the man allegedly told officers that he had a gun and would not come out peacefully, Jackson said.
Officers initiated an Operation 100, which is a tactical response to a person who will not surrender to police. Police tried to negotiate a peaceful resolution.
Throughout the standoff, the man allegedly attempted to start a fire and appeared to be using a lighter to smoke something. Eventually, the apartment caught fire.
Police and firefighters worked together to extinguish the fire. When police and firefighters entered the apartment, they found the man’s body, Jackson said.
The fire caused significant damage to the apartment building. The ceilings collapsed during the fire, Jackson said.
Other residents of the building were put in contact with the American Red Cross. The building will not be habitable for the near future, he said.
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