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Independence police officer and court official killed while serving eviction, another officer shot

 Independence Police Officer Cody Allen was shot and killed while aiding a Jackson County process server, Drexel Mack, at an address in eastern Independence on Feb. 29, 2024.<br/>
Independence Police Department
Independence Police Officer Cody Allen was shot and killed while aiding a Jackson County process server, Drexel Mack, at an address in eastern Independence on Feb. 29, 2024.

An Independence police officer and a process server with the Jackson County courthouse were shot and killed early Thursday afternoon in eastern Independence.

Civil process servers were serving an eviction at 1111 N. Elsea Smith Road when one of them, identified by law enforcement as Drexel Mack, was shot. The Independence Police Department then received calls for assistance, one from a neighbor and one from another civil process server who was on the scene.

When officers arrived at the home, they tendered medical aid to the court employee and were met with gunfire. Two police officers were shot and transported to a nearby hospital.

One officer, Cody Allen, died from his injuries. The other officer underwent surgery and was expected to make a full recovery. A third officer sustained minor injuries and was also expected to fully recover.

A male suspect was taken into custody and transported to a hospital with minor injuries.

Independence Police Chief Adam Dustman called Allen a hero.

“Unfortunately, he lost his life today serving this community,” Dustman said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the families and this entire community that has been devastated again by this senseless tragedy.”

Jackson County Judge Jalilah Otto said it’s the first time she’s aware of a civil process server being killed in the line of duty.

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

The shooting took place in a rural area of Independence, about three miles from Fort Osage High School.

Otto said Mack was with the Jackson County court for 12 years.

“What he does is integral to the work that we do in Jackson County,” Otto said. “He's a true public servant, and he lost his life doing his job. Today, we are devastated for the loss that we as a court have suffered.”

Dustman said Allen worked for the Independence Police Department twice. He left for the private sector and then returned to the department about two years ago. Allen leaves behind a wife and two small children, Dustman said.

“He always had a smile,” Dustman said. “He was the guy that when you go on a call, you knew he was gonna be there. He could defuse things in a moment's notice. He was right there to back you up.”

Multiple law enforcement agencies, including the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Kansas City Police Department, responded to the shooting.

KCPD Capt. Jake Becchina said the agency’s tactical response team was called to the scene and was treating it as an Operation 100, which involves an armed and barricaded subject. Becchina said before 5 p.m. that no officer had made it inside the residence.

He said a tactical operation was ongoing.

“We do not have any additional indications of more people being inside at this time,” Becchina said. “However, we're taking all the necessary precautions and steps, because of the situation that unfolded involving the officers prior.”

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson tweeted Thursday that he was praying for the Independence officers involved.

Teresa and I are praying for the @IndepMoPolice officers involved and all who work to protect us.— Governor Mike Parson (@GovParsonMO) February 29, 2024

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said in a post on X, “My heart breaks for the Independence Police Department and all the family and friends of their officer who succumbed to injuries from a shooting earlier today.”

Jackson County Executive Frank White said in a statement that the shooting “highlights the challenges our public servants face daily in keeping our communities safe.”

“In times like these, words can't fully express the pain our community feels,” White said. “Yet, I find comfort in our ability to come together, offer support and love to those affected by today's tragic shooting.”

Copyright 2024 KCUR 89.3. To see more, visit KCUR 89.3.

Celisa Calacal
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