INDEPENDENCE, MO. A man killed in a shootout with police was a suspect in several jewelry store thefts in the Kansas City area, authorities said.
The man was shot about noon Tuesday outside a Plantasia store at a busy shopping center. He died at a nearby hospital of multiple gunshot wounds.
No officers were injured.
Police had not released the dead man's name by Wednesday afternoon.
Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Dan Green said detectives from nearby Blue Springs had been following a suspect in a jewelry theft there.
They lost track of the man's car and called Independence police and the Highway Patrol for help in finding him, Green said.
Tom Gentry, a spokesman for Independence police, said the gun battle began after one of his department's officers found the man behind a pillar at the Plantasia store. Gentry could not say, however, who fired the first shot.
"All of a sudden, there was gunfire and glass breaking," said the store's owner, Frank Jenkins.
The man had a .45-caliber handgun, Gentry said.
The shooting remained under investigation, he said, and at least one officer has been placed on mandatory administrative leave.
It was the second shootout since this spring at a Kansas City-area shopping center.
On April 29, at the Ward Parkway Center just inside the state line, David W. Logsdon shot and killed two people in the parking lot and was shot to death by police just outside a Target store.