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Independence man charged with murder in shooting that killed police officer and court worker

Wide angle photo shows American flags, balloons, flowers and candles sitting on the ground as a memorial in front of a granite marker. Above are flags flowing in the wind at half staff.
Carlos Moreno
KCUR 89.3
A memorial for the fallen police and civil process server killed Thursday lies in front of the Independence Police Department where flags were flying at half staff.

Larry Acree faces two counts of first-degree murder as well as other charges including first-degree assault.

An Independence man faces two counts of first-degree murder for allegedly gunning down a police officer and a county court employee Thursday.

Prosecutors say 69-year-old Larry Acree shot and killed Drexel Mack, a 41-year-old Jackson County civil process server, and 35-year-old Independence police officer Cody Allen.

“This is a hard day,” said Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker at a press conference Friday. “I think we’d all just like to roll back the clock a few hours to see if any other fate could have been met.”

The effort to evict Acree from the house started more than a year ago.

He got a written notice to vacate last week. Mack and another court processor went to his house to physically evict Acree on Thursday and had just finished dismantling the locks on the front door when Acree allegedly opened fire. Mack fell into the house.

Three Independence officers, including Allen, rushed to the scene to try to retrieve Mack. All three of the responding officers were shot. Allen, a father of two, died from his wounds. The two other officers are expected to recover.

Three people are shown. Two stand behind a woman talking at a podium. Behind them is a large backdrop that reads "IPD, Independence Police."
Carlos Moreno
KCUR 89.3
Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker takes questions Friday morning at the Independence Police Department about the shooting that killed Police Officer Cody Allen and civil process server Drexel Mack on Thursday. Behind her are Mayor Rory Rowland, left, and Jackson County Judge Jalilah Otto.

Baker said the shooting could be called an ambush.

A standoff ensued, and Acree was injured and eventually apprehended. He’s in custody on a $2 million bond. In addition to the two counts of murder in the first degree, Acree faces first-degree assault and other charges.

I’ve been at KCUR almost 30 years, working partly for NPR and splitting my time between local and national reporting. I work to bring extra attention to people in the Midwest, my home state of Kansas and of course Kansas City. What I love about this job is having a license to talk to interesting people and then crafting radio stories around their voices. It’s a big responsibility to uphold the truth of those stories while condensing them for lots of other people listening to the radio, and I take it seriously. Email me at frank@kcur.org or find me on Twitter @FrankNewsman.
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