State

KC man arrested after police officer shot in the face on I-35

Omar D. Maria
Omar D. Maria

Police arrested a 31-year-old Kansas City man Sunday morning suspected of shooting a Pleasant Valley police officer in the face late Saturday after what appeared to be a routine traffic stop on southbound Interstate 35 near U.S. 69.

Omar D. Maria of Kansas City was arrested without incident at 1959 Parallel Ave. in Kansas City, Kan., for a federal probation violation warrant issued by the U.S. Marshals Service for a weapons violation. He was being questioned regarding the shooting of the officer but had not been charged.

Officers from the Kansas City and Kansas City, Kan., police departments joined agents from the U.S. Marshals Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in arresting Maria, said Missouri Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Collin Stosberg.

Police, who took Maria to the Wyandotte County Jail, also took an unidentified female into custody for questioning.

Authorities have not released the name of the officer.

The officer, who has been on the job for several years, was taken to a hospital with serious injuries. Later, he was said to be alert and talking in stable condition, surrounded by friends and family. Police expect him to make a full recovery.

Southbound I-35 was closed for about five hours after the shooting. After an all-night manhunt, authorities found the suspect with the help of a tip. Officers set up a perimeter around the residence after the man barricaded himself inside. Following a short standoff police arrested him without incident.

Authorities said the officer pulled over a 2004 green Honda Accord with Tennessee license plates shortly before midnight Saturday for a registration violation.

The driver, who was southbound on I-35, got out of the car and fired at the officer with a shotgun, police said. One of the shots hit the officer in the face. The officer returned to his car and called for backup.

To reach James A. Fussell, call 816-234-4460, or email jfussell@kcstar.com.

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