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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


JOHN F. WOOD


Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html


AUGUST 8, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


FIVE KC MEN CHARGED FOLLOWING

TWO POLICE GUNBATTLES


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that five Kansas City, Mo., men were charged in federal court today in two separate cases, both related to police shooting incidents that occurred on Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2007.


             Bryan K Walker, 21, and Kyle A Gardenhire, 23, both of Kansas City, were charged with possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime in a federal criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Kansas City.


             Demetrius A. Briggs, 22, Dion D. Spriggs, 23, and Montae T. Robertson, 19, all of Kansas City, were charged with possession with intent to distribute fifty grams or more of crack cocaine in a federal criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Kansas City.


USA v. Walker, et al


            According to an affidavit filed in support of the federal criminal complaint, law enforcement officers attempted to stop a vehicle being driven by Gardenhire in the 7000 block of Myrtle on Tuesday afternoon. Gardenhire allegedly attempted to flee, striking a police vehicle with his car. As an officer approached the driver’s door of the vehicle, the affidavit says, an occupant or occupants began firing gun shots at the officer. The officer was struck by the bullets and fell to the ground. Gardenhire and Walker, a backseat passenger, were arrested.


             During a search of the vehicle, the affidavit says, officers recovered a loaded Glock .40-caliber handgun on the front passenger floorboard, a loaded Smith and Wesson 9 mm handgun and a .22-caliber pistol in the back seat. The pistol’s magazine was empty and several spent .22-caliber shell casings were observed in the vehicle. Also located in the vehicle was 230 grams of marijuana, separated in 30 plastic bags, on the passenger front seat floorboard.


USA v. Briggs, et al


             According to an affidavit filed in support of the federal criminal complaint, law enforcement officers attempted to conduct a car stop near 71st Street and Prospect on Tuesday afternoon. When officers activated their emergency lights and siren, the affidavit says, the Pontiac driven by Spriggs failed to stop and the rear passenger, sitting behind the driver, turned around and pointed a semi-automatic handgun at the officers. A car chase ensued.


              The Pontiac allegedly continued northbound on Prospect at a high rate of speed until it reached 51st Street, where the driver lost control and the vehicle left the roadway and struck a fence. Spriggs fled on foot and was apprehended following a chase. During the foot chase, the affidavit says, Spriggs was observed to be carrying a semi-automatic handgun, which he eventually dropped on the ground. Briggs was apprehended from the rear seat of the vehicle and Robertson was apprehended from the front of the vehicle.


             Deandre T. Clay, 21, of Kansas City, a passenger in the rear seat of the vehicle, was also apprehended. Clay, who was suffering from a gunshot wound to his lower back, was transported by ambulance to a hospital, where he later died from his injuries.

 

             During a search of the vehicle, officers recovered a Sturm Ruger 7.62X39 assault rifle with a banana-style magazine containing 25 live rounds of ammunition, which was located on the front passenger floorboard; a loaded Smith and Wesson 9 mm handgun, which was located on the floorboard to the rear of the driver’s seat; and approximately 95.1 grams of a substance believed to be cocaine.


            Wood cautioned that the charges contained in these complaints are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.


            These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul S. Becker. They were investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html