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Police Release Photo After Witnesses Claimed ‘Unarmed’ Pregnant Women Was Shot 5 Times During Arrest

Photo: Kansas City Police / Facebook
Kansas police shoot pregnant woman

Kansas City police have charged a pregnant woman with exhibiting a handgun in her encounter with police before she was shot 5 times.

Witnesses claims that she had her hands raised moments before the shots were fired prompted outrage on social media with many reporting she was unarmed at the time.

Law enforcement in Kansas City, Missouri, was responding to reports of a carjacking when they encountered Leonna Hale and her boyfriend at a Family Dollar at 6th and Prospect Ave.

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The Kansas City police officers told passengers in the car next to them to exit the vehicle, prompting the man inside the suspected car to flee on foot as police officers chased him.

Leonna Hale was shot after allegedly pointing a gun at officers.

A police report states that officers determined Hale was armed. Body camera footage shows Hale being told to drop her weapon. 

Hale allegedly appeared to point the weapon at officers before the shots were fired.

Horrified witnesses recounted the scene to the Kansas City Star, sharing video footage of the aftermath as well.

29-year-old Shédanja, who declined to give her last name, said she had gone to the store to get gasoline and ice cream with her kids, who witnessed the terrible scene as well.

Shédanja said that when the man fled, three officers chased after him, while the remaining officers were trained on Hale.

According to her, Hale tried to cooperate, but couldn’t lay on the ground due to her pregnancy, and started backing away in fear of the yelling police officers.

Once the officers approached her with weapons drawn, she fleed, but only made it three steps before shots rang out and hit Hale, causing her white t-shirt to turn red with blood.

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“One, two, three, four, five. I remember it because it didn’t stop. They shot five times,” Shédanja said during a phone interview Saturday with The Star.

“I remember seeing her hit the ground and I froze.”

In the video recorded by Shédanja, she can be heard yelling at the police officers and whoever might watch the video that she was being handcuffed while laying on the ground in a pool of her own blood.

“She did not pull out a weapon on them,” she said. “She did not even have a stick in her hand.”

She yells in shock, in complete terror, and is horrified that her children had to suffer through the scene unfolding before them, saying police officers should receive better training.

“I stopped here to get some gas, y'all, and my son just watched this,” she yells in the video. “My one-year-old son just watched this. My 10-year-old son just watched this. And my 13-year-old son just watched this.”

Highway patrol spokesman Sgt. Andrew Bell claimed that the state troopers were handling the investigation, as is protocol, and that the two officers involved in the shooting were placed on administrative leave.

Bell also reported that while Hale had suffered serious injuries, she was in a stable condition at the hospital where she was being treated.

The man who fled the scene had been apprehended unharmed and was arrested by the police.

A gun was located near the vehicle.

“Intricate details that have to be followed up on,” said Bell. “Everything's going to be analyzed, to be scrutinized by our officers,” adding that they would be reviewing the body camera footage as well.

Interim Kansas City Police Chief Joseph Mabin arrived at the scene and told reporters that his department would be fully transparent with the state troopers handling the investigation.

“We never want to be in these types of situations - not the public, not the police department,” he said. “Anytime anything happens like this, it's a blight on our community.”

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Follow him on Twitter here.

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