Young Kansas girl killed after chase, shootout

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by Associated Press

KMOV.com

Posted on July 19, 2014 at 5:12 PM

Updated Saturday, Jul 19 at 6:51 PM

LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (AP) -- A Kansas police chief said Saturday it's unclear who fired the shot that killed a 5-year-old girl during a shootout between his officers and a man suspected of abducting her.

Leavenworth Police Chief Pat Kitchens identified the slain girl as Cadence Harris of Leavenworth. She was killed Friday night after a police chase that started in Platte County, Missouri, ended at a construction site in Leavenworth.

Police initially said the girl was shot by the suspect, but Kitchens said authorities are now not sure how she was shot.

"It is a fairly complicated investigation," Kitchens said at a news conference. "There is a lot of information we are trying to sort through."

A 30-year-old Atchison, Kansas, man who has not been identified was taken to a Kansas City hospital with non-life-threatening wounds, The Kansas City Star (http://bit.ly/1kGcg0L ) reported.

Members of the man's family said the girl and her mother lived with the man and his grandparents in Atchison.

The incident started Friday night in Atchison, the man's grandmother said. At some point Cadence's mother went across the street to call police and the grandson left with the little girl.

"He didn't kidnap her," the grandmother said. "She lived here with us."

She said her grandson was not the child's biological father, but he had an on-again off-again relationship with the girl's mother and was like a father to her.

Kitchens confirmed the incident started in Atchison County and said there was an initial attempt to stop the man, but he eluded police.

At about 7:30 p.m., Platte County authorities notified Leavenworth police they were in a high-speed chase involving a man suspected of abducting a child.

The pursuit crossed the Missouri River into Leavenworth, where it ended at a construction site.

Kitchens said speeds reached an estimated 80 to 90 mph before coming to a halt.

"The matter unfolded quite rapidly," Kitchens said.

The suspect got out of the car and there was an exchange of gunfire between him and two Leavenworth offices, Kitchens said.

Video cameras from police patrol cars captured some of the incident, and at one point the man can be seen pointing a gun toward officers. Kitchens said not everything that happened was caught on tape.

The 30-year-old has spent time in prison, court records show, and had an active warrant for his arrest after missing an Atchison County court hearing Thursday in a domestic violence case involving Cadence's mother.

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