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Missouri process server and police officer shot and killed after trying to serve eviction notice

A Missouri police officer and a civil process server were shot and killed in Independence, Missouri, authorities said Thursday.  

Independence Police Department received a call at 1:09 p.m. local time saying a civil process server with the Jackson County Circuit Court had been shot, Missouri State Highway Patrol said in a statement. At the same time, a neighbor called to say an officer had been shot, the highway patrol said.

Multiple police officers responded to the scene, more gunfire ensued and three police officers were shot. The officers and the civil process server were taken to a local hospital. The suspect was taken into custody and transported to be treated for minor injuries.

One of the officers, identified as Cody Allen, and the process server, identified as Drexel Mack, died of their wounds, police said. One of the other officers who was shot underwent surgery and is expected to make a full recovery, while the third was treated for minor injuries, Independence Police Department chief Adam Dustman said.

Allen was 35 years old and had a wife and two kids, Dustman said.

Allen had at one point left the police force to take a different job but "realized, like so many of us, that this is ingrained in who you are," and returned to IPD about two years ago, Dustman said.

Mack was attempting to serve an eviction notice when he was shot, police said. He had been with the Jackson County Circuit Court for more than 12 years and was in his early 40s, Judge Jalilah Otto, the court's presiding judge, said Thursday.

He was engaged to be married at the time of his death and also has adult children, Otto said.

"He is a true public servant, and he lost his life doing his job today," Otto said at a news conference. "We are devastated for the loss that we as a court have suffered."

The suspect was not immediately identified and details on what led to the attempted eviction were not immediately known.

"My heart breaks for the Independence Police Department and all the family and friends of their officer who succumbed to injuries from a shooting earlier today," said Quinton Lucas, Mayor of Kansas City, in a social media post. "I am praying for all others impacted today and all of the women and men of law enforcement in the Kansas City area."

"Our deepest condolences go to families of the 16th Circuit Court process server and the Independence Police Department officer who died from fatal gunfire today in the course of their duties," Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said in a statement.

Area schools were placed on lockdown for approximately 20 minutes because of the large police presence in the area, according to a spokesperson for the Fort Osage R-1 School District.

Independence, about 25 minutes from Kansas City, is home to the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

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