Image of Leonna Hale, who was shot by police, captured from KCPD officer’s body-worn cameras on May 27, 2022. Photo from Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office

A 26-year-old Kansas City woman, who Kansas City Police (KCPD) shot Friday evening in the Family Dollar parking lot at 6th and Prospect, has been charged with exhibiting a weapon in her encounter Friday evening with police, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced today.

Leonna M. Hale, 26, faces Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Unlawful Use of a Weapon and the misdemeanor of Resisting a Lawful Detention.

According to court records filed today, KCPD responded on the evening of May 27, 2022, regarding a vehicle involved in an armed carjacking in Kansas City, Kan. The officers located the vehicle at Family Dollar, 634 Prospect Ave., where officers conducted a car check. A male driver exited and ran from the scene, and two officers gave chase.

A second occupant, Hale, exited the passenger side and went to the rear of the vehicle. Officers attempted to give her commands. The probable cause statement filed today said officers determined she was armed and stated that she pointed a firearm at them, and they discharged their firearms at her.

Video surveillance from body cameras showed Hale being told to drop the firearm and pointing it at the officers before the officers fired three shots. One officer told investigators she feared that Hale was going to shoot her and she discharged her firearm one time. A second officer also told investigators that he believed the defendant had a firearm pointed at him. Hale was taken to an area hospital for treatment.

“Some false narratives about what happened last Friday night at 6th and Prospect Avenue, unfortunately, were relied upon by some media and other sources,” Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said. “Our job, as prosecutors, is to remain neutral and review all evidence. Our review of body cam videos provided the actual accounting of events that night.”

Hale remains in an area hospital in stable condition. One firearm was located not far from the female suspect, where she had dropped it, and an additional firearm was located in the driver side door pocket. Both firearms were discovered to have one live round in the chamber of each and additional live rounds in the magazines. No officers were observed to have injuries from this incident on scene.

“Our review of the investigation revealed the defendant, although she denied having a weapon at the time of the encounter with law enforcement officers, continually displayed a weapon during her encounter with police officers and also appeared to be attempting to flee,” Peters Baker continued. “The two officers stated that she was armed with what they believed to be a handgun. Body camera footage confirms the officers’ statements that Hale was holding a handgun. Still photos, taken from body cam footage, of this encounter also demonstrate a weapon was present and in the hands of the defendant.”

In an interview with Missouri Highway Patrol (MHP), who investigates all officer-involved shootings, Hale stated she then ran and saw the female officer who was telling her to stop and she continued to run with her hands up. Hale stated she then heard gunshots and knew she had been hit. Hale stated the female officer had shot her and made her put her hands behind her back, even though she was unable to move it. Hale denied ever having a gun or anything in her hands and advised she believed the officers approached them because someone must have told police the occupants were armed.