Man shot by police ID'd; witness shares his side of story
Editor's note: The spelling of Andrew Ryan McLendon's last name was clarified by the funeral home Saturday. Discrepancies in the spelling of his name existed in court records.
Andrew Ryan McLendon, 33, of Cape Girardeau died from multiple gunshot wounds fired by a Cape Girardeau police officer Wednesday night.
McLendon’s identity was released Thursday afternoon. Per department policy, the officer was placed on paid leave while the incident is investigated by the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
McLendon was shot inside the home at 611 La Petite Court, according to a news release from the Cape Girardeau Police Department. McLendon was transported to a Cape Girardeau hospital, where he died on the operating table about 1 a.m. Thursday, according to David Taylor, Cape Girardeau County assistant coroner. An autopsy for McLendon is scheduled for today.
Police stated in the release an officer was investigating suspicious activity at 611 La Petite Court when he encountered Mclendon holding a knife inside the residence. McLendon then advanced toward the officer with the knife in a threatening manner, and the officer fired multiple shots, the release stated.
A witness to the incident contends the police version of the incident is inaccurate.
David Stroder lives at 611 La Petite Court and said he was right behind the Cape Girardeau officer when the shots were fired in the house’s basement.
Stroder told the Southeast Missourian that McLendon was lying face-down on the basement floor, covered by a couch, holding a folded knife in his right hand.
In the span of 6 seconds, the officer identified himself as Cape Girardeau police, shouted that McLendon had a knife and then fired three shots into the center of McLendon’s back, Stroder said.
He said McLendon did not move before he was shot.
Stroder showed reporters a concentrated pool of blood, with a dark spot in the center, where he said McLendon was shot.
“He was spread-eagle on the ground,” Stroder said. “He looked like a rug.”
The officer handcuffed McLendon and then dragged him into the main room of the basement, Stroder said.
The officer tried to stand McLendon up, Stroder said.
McLendon looked Stroder in the eyes and said, “They f---ing killed me,” Stroder said.
He said McLendon was resuscitated by emergency medical technicians before he was loaded into the ambulance. He was cursing, but he was coherent all the way to the ambulance, Stroder said.
Stroder said he tried to encourage his friend as he was loaded into the ambulance, hoping he would recover.
“He was trying to get his life together,” Stroder said.
Officers arrested Rodney “Ralph” Harris, 37, of Cameron, Missouri, on six warrants for failure to appear in court and one warrant for probation violation after he was found in the basement with McLendon, Cape Girardeau public-information officer Adam Glueck said.
Harris was still in custody Thursday, Glueck said. He could not say whether Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers investigating the shooting had interviewed Harris.
“I can’t comment on anything outside of the press release,” Glueck said.
McLendon and Harris were helping Stroder, who rents the house from his father, move a couch, Stroder said.
The movement of this couch accounts for the suspicious activity a pair of police officers noticed at the residence, Stroder said.
Multiple neighbors said there is constant foot traffic in and out of 611 La Petite Court. One neighbor said she knew police were watching the house.
One of the officers asked Stroder, who was inside, what he was doing, Stroder said. He said he allowed officers to enter the home, and they heard other people inside.
Stroder said they began searching the house without Stroder’s consent, and the three of them congregated at the head of the staircase leading into the basement.
One of the officers called into the basement and did not receive a response, even though Stroder said two people were in the basement.
The officers drew their handguns and went downstairs, Stroder said.
He said he then allowed them access to a locked portion of the basement, where they found McLendon and Harris.
Stroder said he later discovered McLendon was on parole (he pleaded guilty to second-degree assault in 2014), Harris was on probation (he pleaded guilty to distribution of a controlled substance in 2013), and they were not supposed to be congregating with one another.
Stroder said this is probably why neither of them responded to officers’ questions.
McLendon was charged with second-degree assault and property damage after an incident in which he attacked a man with an aluminum bat June 7, 2013, police reported. The man shot McLendon in the chest, police reported.
Stroder pleaded guilty to unlawful use of drug paraphernalia and driving while revoked in 2016, distribution of a controlled substance in 2009 and nonsupport in excess of $5,000 in 2009.
Cape Girardeau police chief Wes Blair wrote in an email, “As we have previously stated, the MSHP is conducting the investigation of the officer-involved shooting. As such, any interviews conducted have been done by investigators from MSHP. Once they have concluded their investigation, the results will be sent to the Cape County prosecutor’s office. It would be highly inappropriate and speculative for me to comment on the contents of an interview that we neither conducted nor participated in.”
Sgt. Clark Parrott, public-information officer for the Missouri State Highway Patrol, said he cannot comment on an ongoing investigation.
When the investigation is complete, MSHP investigators will turn over documents to the Cape Girardeau County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Parrott said.
611 La Petite Court, Cape Girardeau, Mo.