Kansas City authorities are trying to piece together what happened when an early morning confrontation left a groom celebrating his wedding shot dead and the officer who shot him hospitalized with face injuries.
Anthony V. Bruno, 26, a six year veteran of the Kansas City Fire Department, was killed after he left his wedding reception in the early hours of Sunday morning. A family member said the incident may have been sparked by a dispute over a cab fare.
Kansas City police said in a statement that at 2:30 a.m. on Sunday, an unidentified off-duty police officer responded to a call that a cab driver had been assaulted in front of a hotel near 12th and Wyandotte.
The officer, a 17 year veteran of the police department, was working in uniform and in a law enforcement capacity for a downtown business at the time of the incident. He found the suspect, Bruno, a couple of blocks away where the pair got into a fight, the police statement said.
During the assault, Bruno pinned the officer to the ground and struck him multiple times about his face and head, said police.
"Fearing for his life, the officer eventually fired his handgun, striking the man," said Kansas Police spokesman Capt. Tye Grant.
The officer and others gave Bruno CPR before both were was rushed to a nearby hospital, where Bruno later died. The officer was treated for severe injuries around the head and face, but has since been released from the hospital while his swelling goes down, said Grant.
"Once it does down, he will return to the hospital for surgery to repair facial injuries," Grant said.
Authorities are still piecing together exactly what happened between the time Bruno left his downtown wedding reception to the moment he was shot.
A member of Bruno's family told KCTV5 that Bruno had escorted a drunken guest at the reception to the cab stand to make sure the guest got home safely. A dispute then broke out over the cost of the fare, the family member said.
Fire Chief Paul Berardi said he has discussed the shooting a number of times with Police Chief Darryl Forte.
"Friends and family of the Kansas City Fire Department remember Anthony Bruno of Fire Station 17 as a courageous and dedicated firefighter who had been with the department since 2008," Berardi said in a statement. "He was a third-generation member of the fire department."
Bruno is survived by his father, a retired deputy fire chief, his mother, sisters and new wife.