By Eric L. Wesson Sr.
CALL Staff Writer
Officer Thomas Orr Jr., 30, died at the scene after being struck by a stray bullet while enjoying music and the atmosphere at the
Only three witnesses of the estimated 20 people that may have been in attendance on the patio area, where the shooting may have taken place, have talked to police about what they observed.
More than likely, according to sources that were there, there were not 200 people present at the time of the shooting because the club had closed and people were leaving.
According Terry Burns, owner of the restaurant, the trouble started when a large man, at least 6 feet tall and 250 pounds, punched a thinner man and ran.
As he ran toward the exit, the man turned and fired a gun into the crowd.
Police think the shooter left the scene with three other people. Chris Johnson, who was raised in Kansas City, but now lives in California, was at the party and attempted to save Orr’s life, but couldn’t. He told THE CALL that some of the media accounts are inaccurate.
“I had been invited to attend the party by a couple of friends,” Johnson said.
“At the time of the shooting there was no way that 200 people could have seen anything, because the patio area only seats about 20 people. Officer Orr could have very well had his back turned to the shooter because his back was turned and by the time I got to him he was slumped over in the seat. So, I went over and checked on him and I began to administer first-aide to him,” he said.
“The owners of the club and workers made sure that I had plenty of towels so that we could maintain pressure on the wound. I thought at first that he had only been shot in the shoulder. I later found out that there was another fatal wound that we did not see that killed him, an officer told us,” Johnson said.
“Evidently there had been a fight that broke out between this guy that we had seen fall down the stairs that may have been hit by someone and knocked down. He appeared to get up and run some more. Then, we heard gunshots. I made my way back onto the patio and that is when I saw Officer Orr,” he said.
There were several things that Johnson said disturbed him during the process. One was that he almost got arrested and the other was that officers did not appear to be too responsive until they learned that Orr was a fellow officer.
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