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Police Say Suspect Involved In Shootout With Police Is Same Man Involved In Killing Of UMKC Student

Laura Ziegler
KCUR 89.3
Kansas City Police Chief Rick Smith briefs reporters on the latest information about Sunday’s shooting in which three officers were injured.";

Kansas City Police Chief Rick Smith identified the suspect who died after a violent spree of gunfire in two different locations on Sunday as 25-year-old Marlin Mack.

Smith said officers had identified Mack as a person of interest in last week’s killing of Sarath Koppu, a native of India who was an engineering student at the University of Missouri–Kansas City.

Koppu was shot and killed on July 6 during a robbery attempt at J’s Fish and Chicken Market at 5412 Prospect Ave. Officers had Mack under surveillance, but Smith said Sunday was the first time officers had encountered him.

Of 40 tips that came in over the course of the week, Smith said eight led directly to Mack. Smith also said independent verification identified Mack as the same man on a widely circulated and unusually clear restaurant surveillance video.

Over the course of several hours Sunday, police and the suspect engaged in four different exchanges of gunfire in two different locations. The first occurred at the Sky-Vu Motel on U.S. 40 near Interstate 435, the second at a residence near 30th Street and Topping Avenue, where police fatally shot Mack.

Mack, using a semi-automatic, high-powered rifle, shot and injured three officers, who were hospitalized. Without naming them, Smith gave an update of their conditions.

“One is expected to be released today,” Smith said. “He will need further ongoing medical treatment but he will be released. The other two will remain hospitalized under stable condition.”

The chief declined to comment in any detail on the ongoing investigation, saying the injured officers had not yet  given their accounts of what happened.

He praised the outpouring of support from other law enforcement departments, the city and citizens who offered tips.

He said that as he was speaking, officers were out investigating the latest homicide in Kansas City. Even though murders are down from the same time last year, Smith pleaded with the community to help curb violence on city streets.

“We cannot do it ourselves,” he said. “I’m really asking the community…. to step up and help us solve these crimes.” 

Laura Ziegler is a community engagement reporter and producer. Reach her @laurazig or email lauraz@kcur.org.

I partner with communities to uncover the ignored or misrepresented stories by listening and letting communities help identify and shape a narrative. My work brings new voices, sounds, and an authentic sense of place to our coverage of the Kansas City region. My goal is to tell stories on the radio, online, on social media and through face to face conversations that enhance civic dialogue and provide solutions. Email me at lauraz@kcur.org and follow me on Twitter @laurazig.
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