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Group honors officer who was killed by suspect last week

22-year-old Officer Blaize Madrid-Evans was shot while responding to a call at a home in Independence, Missouri.
Credit: AP
In this photo provided by the Independence Police Department shows Police Officer Blaize Madrid-Evans. Authorities say Madrid-Evans who was still in training after graduating from the police academy in July has died after being shot by a wanted man who opened fire on officers and was also killed. The Independence, Mo., Police Department announced late Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, that Blaize Madrid-Evans died following the Wednesday morning shooting. (AP Photo/Independence Police Dept.).

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — A group of about two dozen people gathered Saturday to pay their respects to the 22-year-old Independence police officer killed in a shooting earlier in the week.

The small crowd gathered outside Centerpoint Medical Center as a motorcade escorted Officer Blaize Madrid-Evans's body from the hospital to the Jackson County Medical Examiner's office.

“It’s totally unnecessary for one to have to lose their life like he did, and it’s a real shame because he’s less than half my age,” said Independence resident Tony Kriz, 61. “I’m here to just show my support and say I’m sorry that it happened.”

Madrid-Evans died Wednesday after a confrontation with a man who was being sought for violating parole. The Missouri State Highway Patrol says the suspect fired a handgun at Madrid-Evans and his partner, who returned fire. The suspect, 33-year-old Cody L. Harrison, died at the scene and Madrid-Evans died at a hospital later.

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MORE: Missouri officer dies after being shot while responding to call

Madrid-Evans was also honored at Smithville High School’s football game. A moment of silence was held for the former Smithville student, three airplanes flew overhead and Independence police officers and the Missouri Highway Patrol held a banner with Madrid-Evans’ name written on it.

Ronnie Crowder, who also attended the remembrance Saturday, said he showed up because an officer had once been there for him. In 2018 he suffered a stroke while driving along Truman Road. He went blind and crashed his car. A police officer pulled him out, he said.

“They do things that most of us wouldn’t,” Crowder, 69, said. “It’s sad that such a young man who was truly going to be a blessing to the world was taken from us.”

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