On May 27, Leonna Hale, and a man, who the Kansas City Police Department suspected of stealing a car were stopped by police while allegedly riding in a vehicle that matched the description of a stolen car. Still, eyewitnesses said the officer’s reasoning doesn’t add up to how the attempted arrest occurred. Hale had her hands up and was shot five times.
A witness identified as Shédanja recorded the aftermath of the shooting and recalled what she saw to The Kansas City Star. The witness is from Arkansas but stopped to get some gas when she watched the encounter in a Family Dollar parking lot. She said the officers yelled at the occupants of the vehicle to get out. A man got out, fled and hopped a fence as three officers chased him. The police department later confirmed the unidentified man was apprehended.
Hale, on the other hand, got out with her hands up, Shédanja recalls. When officers told Hale to get on the ground, she said she couldn’t because she was pregnant. The officers continued to order Hale to get down. At one point, she told the officers there was a gun in the vehicle. Hale began to back up toward a fence as officers drew their guns.
“She did not pull out a weapon on them,” Shédanja said. “She did not even have a stick in her hand.”
The witness said Hale took three steps in an attempt to run from the officers when they fired five times. In a video taken after the shooting, Hale is on the ground with blood on her shirt as officers are handcuffing her.
“She was finna co-operate, she got scared, she ran down there, they shot her,” an eyewitness said in the video. “One, two, three, four. My son got it on his phone, too. They got her in handcuffs while she shot, God. I’m a medical assistant, God, it ain’t right.”
Pregnant woman, Leonna Hale shot in Kansas City After running three steps away. She was mistaken for a carjacking suspect in a parking lot because the vehicles matched. I think the uvalde shooting showed us that police are scary pic.twitter.com/A1yBvQVJTP
— Negative⛔Ass⛔Shon (@NegativeAssShon) May 30, 2022
The two officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave, according to Newsweek.
Many social media users compared how the officers handled Hale’s attempted arrest with the arrest of the White Buffalo grocery store mass shooting suspect Payton Gendron, who was taken into custody walking away in handcuffs.
— Pharaoh Jones (@PharaohJones3) May 31, 2022
The shooting of Hale was also compared to the now-deceased Uvalde, Texas alleged mass shooter, who encountered a school resource officer before walking into the school and killing 21 people before being killed himself.
Two Kansas City police officers shot an unarmed 26-year-old pregnant Black woman Friday night.
She exited a vehicle with her hands in the air and they shot her 5 times.
But they can’t run into a school where kids are being massacred? 🤔#LeonnaHale
— Ryan Shead (@RyanShead) May 30, 2022