A Kansas City man pleaded guilty Wednesday to second-degree murder for shooting and killing off-duty Lee's Summit police officer Thomas Orr last year in Westport.
Sean D. Steward, 23, now faces 18 years in prison, including three years for unlawful possession of a firearm.
Orr, 30, was a bystander who got caught in the line of fire after a fight broke out on the back patio of Californos in Westport on Aug. 20, 2017, a Sunday afternoon. Kansas City police at the time estimated there were about 200 people at the event, but it took a while to get more than a few witnesses to come forward.
The charging documents show multiple witnesses corroborated the story, some with photos posted on Facebook, which identified Steward as the shooter. According to police, he used a black handgun, which he discarded into the crowd as he fled from the scene in a dark Dodge Charger.
In a statement, Lee's Summit Police Chief Travis Forbes expressed that the department and community are still mourning.
"Obviously, there is no amount of justice that will account for the life that a man like Thomas Orr lived. His contributions to the community will never be forgotten. Like many victims of this senseless type of crime, we wish we could have him back," Forbes said.
Orr had been with the Lee's Summit Police Department for two years and the week before he was killed had just started what Forbes called his "dream job" as a school resource officer at Campbell Middle School.