Guard Shot, Kills Attacker at Residential Complex

A confrontation between security guards and a Kansas City man Thursday involved a knife, a bullwhip and a gunfight that left a guard wounded and the man shot dead.

Police said the case appeared to have been one of self-defense. They were still waiting to talk to witnesses, including the guard, who was in the hospital Friday.

Police gave this account:

The confrontation began as guards were having cars towed from the parking lot at Ashley Park Apartments at 6421 Manchester Ave. The cars were parked without plates or with invalid plates, and had warning notes posted on them earlier.

One resident, Russell D. Brown, 28, came at one of the guards with a knife. He later drew a gun and shot the guard in the upper arm, and the guard fired back with a fatal shot.

A crowd had gathered around the guards, who included John Wayne Speakman Jr., a Grandview man known for carrying a bullwhip and for twice trying to run for Jackson County sheriff. He was disqualified for a lack of law enforcement training. Speakman also ran for county executive.

Speakman declined to comment because of the pending investigation. Police list him as a witness.

Brown was pronounced dead at the scene. He had been on probation since May for unlawful use of a weapon and had convictions this year for drunken driving and driving while his license was revoked.

A man who identified himself as the guard who shot Brown, and who described events that were verified by others, said Brown's actions puzzled him. He did not want to be identified because he said threats had been made against him.

At worst, the wounded guard said, Brown might have had to pay a $70 fee for the car.

"I don't understand how that was worth someone dying and someone getting shot," the guard said. "It didn't have to happen."

Apartment managers declined to comment Friday.

As with all such shootings, prosecutors said, the case will go to a Jackson County grand jury.