NKC officer, former Avenue Angel shot, killed in traffic stop

NKCPD Officer Daniel Vasquez died after being shot during a traffic stop in North Kansas City on Tuesday. Photo provided by City of North Kansas City

North Kansas City, Mo., police officer and former Titan Security Avenue Angel Daniel Vasquez died from gunshot wounds sustained while attempting to make a traffic stop earlier today.

This morning just after 11 a.m., Missouri State Highway Patrol issued a Blue Alert for a gray Ford Taurus.

The officer was initiating a traffic stop just before 11 a.m. for expired temporary tags on the vehicle when the driver exited the vehicle and began firing on the officer three times with a rifle. Vasquez was transported with trauma to an area hospital, where he was pronounced deceased as a result of his injuries.

The driver, a white male, is in custody after turning himself in. No more suspect information will be released until charges are filed. The Kansas City Police Department (KCPD) will be handling the investigation.

“Our Homicide Detectives and Crime Scene Investors are processing the scene and anticipate presenting the case to the Clay County Prosecutor for consideration of applicable charges,” KCPD Media Sgt. Jake Becchina said Tuesday afternoon. “There are no additional details available nor do we anticipate any further from our department this evening.”

North Kansas City Mayor Bryant DeLong shared on Twitter than Vasquez was performing a car stop in a neighborhood when he was killed.

“I cannot express how excruciating this senseless death is for our organization and community,” DeLong said. “Daniel’s family, the NKC Police Department, and our entire community are grieving from this tragedy. Daniel served the NKC community proudly for almost two years.”

NKC Police Chief Kevin Freeman said Vasquez was a shining star in their organization, and they are deeply hurting from this loss.

“Today with a heavy heart on behalf of our department, I want to offer condolences to the officer’s family, the North Kansas City Police Department, and the community,” KCPD Interim Police Chief Joseph Mabin said. “The loss of a police officer is a tragic event for an entire community, and we are grieving this loss with our neighbors in North Kansas City. Please join us in keeping them in your thoughts and prayers.”

On Wednesday, 24-year-old Joshua T. Rocha was charged with 1st Degree Murder and Armed Criminal Action in the death of Vasquez. He is being held on a $2 million bond.

A memorial fund has been organized to benefit the Vasquez family: https://unionly.io/o/kcfop/honoring-daniel-vasquez.

Officer Daniel Vasquez (right) served Titan Security for the Independence Avenue CID. Northeast News File Photo

The 32-year-old officer served Titan Security for the Independence Avenue Community Improvement District before joining NKCPD in 2021.

Northeast residents may remember when, in 2018, Vasquez and another Titan security officer apprehended a man with $32,000 in active warrants – including a federal warrant for attempted murder – after refusing to leave a Walgreen’s on Independence Avenue.

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