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.
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.”