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Body camera footage released of fatal roadside shooting of former Kansas City detective


Aarón Torres

The Kansas City Star

Body camera footage released Wednesday from the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department shows an officer firing three shots and killing a man after he wrestled a gun away from another officer and pointed it.

The man killed was identified as Lionel A. Womack, 36, a former police detective who worked for the department from July 2007 to August 2020. He was terminated due to numerous policy violations.

The Star obtained six videos from the Nov. 22, 2021, encounter through an open records request.

The videos range from 55 seconds to two minutes. Womack’s face, as well as the officers’ faces, were redacted.

Womack’s wife, Z’Iontae Womack, who is currently a detective with the department, declined to comment.

Police responded to the area of North 57th Street and Tauromee Avenue after receiving a call about a suspicious person standing in the middle of the road and pointing towards the sky.

Womack puts his hands up when two patrol vehicles arrived, the footage shows. But seconds later, he rushes toward the first patrol vehicle.

An officer says his name several times and tells him to calm down. Womack then charges toward the first officer and gets in the police cruiser through the driver’s side door.

Seconds later, Womack emerges from the vehicle and puts his right hand behind his back.

The first officer pulls out his weapon, believing Womack could be armed, Police Chief Karl Oakman previously said. Womack did not have a weapon.

He then charges at the officer, grabbing his wrist and handgun. A second officer attempts to pull Womack off, grabbing his arms with both hands.

During the struggle with the first officer, two shots were fired as they struggled for possession of the gun. One of those shots ricocheted and hit the second officer in the toe.

Womack then falls to the ground, having disarmed the first officer. Video shows Womack try to unjam the gun and point it at the first officer. The officer puts his hands up.

The officer then dives to the ground as Womack is getting up. Womack points the weapon at the officer. The second officer fires three shots toward Womack, hitting him twice. He falls to the ground.

“You saved my life,” the first officer tells the second officer.

Womack was taken by ambulance to a hospital and pronounced dead two hours later. The two officers were also taken to the hospital and treated for minor injuries.

The officers were not charged following an investigation by the Wyandotte County District Attorney’s Office.

One of them has still not returned to work, the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department said Wednesday.

©2022 The Kansas City Star. Visit kansascity.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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