Police officials confirmed on Tuesday that the man fatally shot by a Kansas police officer had been a former Kansas City police detective. The former detective filed a federal lawsuit last year after a police dash cam video recorded a sheriff’s deputy running over him with a patrol vehicle.
Around 2:30 p.m. on Monday, police officers from the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department (KCKPD) responded to a call concerning a suspicious person who was standing in the roadway and pointing towards the sky. According to police, former KCKPD detective Lionel Womack ran towards the officers in an aggressive manner shortly after they arrived at the scene.
Womack managed to disarm one of the officers and aimed the gun at both cops before the other officer fatally shot Womack. According to KCKPD Police Chief Karl Oakman, both officers were taken to a local hospital and treated for minor injuries, while Womack later died from his gunshot wounds.
Hired by the KCKPD in 2007, Womack was promoted to detective in 2018. During a press conference on Tuesday, Chief Oakman stated that Womack had been terminated in August 2020 after numerous policy violations and conduct issues.
“We don’t know what happened in his life that caused him to spiral like this,” Oakman said.
On August 15, 2020, Womack was recorded on police dash cam video fleeing on foot from sheriff’s deputies when Kiowa County Sheriff’s Deputy Jeremy Rodriguez deliberately ran over Womack with his patrol vehicle. In December 2020, Womack filed a federal lawsuit alleging excessive force was used against him during that arrest.
Womack faced felony charges of attempting to elude a law enforcement officer by engaging in reckless driving and interference with a law enforcement officer. Court records show he was also charged with several misdemeanor traffic citations, including failure to drive in the right lane on a four-lane highway, improper signal, and driving without headlights.
That incident happened four days after Womack was fired from the department.
In response to the federal civil rights lawsuit, Deputy Rodriguez falsely claimed that he did not intentionally swerve his truck to run over Womack. But according to the dash cam footage, Womack had been running in a straight line across an empty field when Rodriguez deliberately turned the steering wheel in Womack’s direction a moment before striking him with the patrol vehicle.
Michael Kuckelman, an attorney for Womack’s family, released the following statement on Tuesday:
“The family of Lionel Womack thanks the members of the Kansas City community for your outpouring of support after their devastating loss yesterday.”
“They are asking for privacy and your prayers, as they grieve.”