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Hundreds Gather To Remember Slain Kansas City, Kansas, Detective Brad Lancaster

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Lisa Rodriguez
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KCUR 89.3
Hunders of community members gathered at Children's Mercy Park for a memorial service honoring Kansas City, Kansas detective Brad Lancaster, who was shot and killed on Monday.

Hundreds of people gathered Saturday at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas, to remember KCK Detective Brad Lancaster, who was shot and killed as he pursued a suspect near the Kansas Speedway last Monday.

As she stood in line waiting to get inside the park, community member Carey Rosetti said she was sad to lose a member of her local police force.

“I really appreciate what law enforcement does and what our service men and women do, and I’m here to show my support and gratitude for them,” she says. 

Inside the park, Kansas City, Kansas, police officers shared memories of Lancaster, whom they described as “the smartest man in the room.”

Many told stories about his intelligence and wit, his playful love for a good argument and for setting things on fire, and his unwavering dedication to his job and his family.

Lancaster is survived by his wife, Jamie, and two daughters, Brianna and Jillian. He was an Air Force veteran.

Kansas City, Kansas, Police Officer Chris Blake was a close friend of Lancaster’s. They met when Lancaster was a Platte County deputy. Blake says for years he tried to convince Lancaster to join the Kansas City, Kansas police department.

Once Lancaster finally caved in, he moved in five doors down from Blake and their families grew up together.

On Monday, when he heard that an officer had been shot, Blake immediately went to the hospital. He found out en route that the officer was Lancaster.

Blake says he was lucky to have been there to share Lancaster’s final moments as he went in for surgery. He and the family found out later that Lancaster had died.

“The only thing I could say to my boys was that bad things sometimes happen to really, really good people. And Brad was one of those really, really good people. A friend and a cop," Blake says. 

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Credit Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3
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KCUR 89.3
The service concluded with a firework tribute to Lancaster, who fellow police say loved to blow up fireworks every fourth of July.

After prayers, music, and personal stories, Mayor Mark Holland, who officiated the service, concluded with a special firework tribute to Lancaster.

“Because Brad is not here to blow anything up, we know he would nevertheless, like to go out with a bang," Holland says.

After the service, the public was invited to join the funeral procession to Graceland Cemetery in Weston, Missouri, where Lancaster will be buried.

Police say on Monday, May 9, Curtis Ayers of Tonganoxie, Kansas, shot Lancaster, fled in Lancaster’s unmarked car and then continued on a crime spree. Ayers was later shot and apprehended on Highway 71 in south Kansas City, Missouri. His wounds are described as not life threatening. Ayers has been charged with capital murder.

Lisa Rodriguez is a reporter and producer at KCUR 89.3. Connect with her on Twitter @larodrig

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