Kansas detective fatally shot; suspect in custody

A Kansas City, Kan., police officer takes photos a car in Kansas City, Kan., that is believed to be connected to the shooting of a police detective near the Kansas Speedway on Monday, May 9, 2016. A Kansas City, Kan., police detective helping respond to a report of a suspicious person near a racetrack was fatally shot Monday. (Tammy Ljungblad/The Kansas City Star via AP)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A police detective was fatally shot while investigating reports of a suspicious person near a racetrack in Kansas City, Kansas, and a parolee suspected in that shooting and an ensuing string of carjackings was shot and wounded then arrested in neighboring Missouri.

The detective, 39-year-old Brad Lancaster, was shot at least twice around 12:30 p.m. Monday near the Kansas Speedway. He died after undergoing surgery, his department said in a statement.

Police said the gunman shot the detective then fled in the officer’s unmarked car. He later hijacked a vehicle with two children inside before abandoning that in nearby Basehor, Kansas, leaving those kids unharmed.

He then crashed another vehicle while being pursued by officers in Kansas City, Missouri, and was shot by police as he attempted to carjack yet another vehicle. The woman driving that vehicle was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Police identified the suspect as Curtis Ayers, a 28-year-old man from Tonganoxie, Kansas. He was taken into custody in Kansas City, Missouri, and hospitalized in stable condition, police said.

“This individual was very dangerous. We are so happy that this individual is in custody,” police spokesman Patrick McCallop told reporters. “We are so glad this situation has come to an end.”

In comments posted on the department’s website Tuesday, Police Chief Terry Zeigler expressed thanks for the prayers, messages and support for Lancaster’s family and the department. He said Monday that the detective had “fought a good fight, but unfortunately he died from his injuries.”

Lancaster’s mother, Carolynn Lancaster, told The Kansas City Star that her son “was the rock of the family.” She couldn’t immediately be reached by The Associated Press.

Brad Lancaster was a U.S. Air Force veteran who had served two tours of duty overseas, including one in Kuwait, the newspaper reported. Lancaster said her son had a wife and two daughters.

Ayers served prison time in Kansas in recent years for convictions involving child abandonment, fleeing or trying to elude law enforcers, and interference with a law enforcement officer, online Kansas Department of Corrections records show. Court records say he was also charged in North Carolina with offenses ranging from misdemeanor theft to possession of stolen goods and burglarizing vehicles.

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