Toddler killed in Independence shooting identified; wanted man arrested in Omaha

Missouri

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Independence police identified a toddler killed in a Christmas Eve shooting as Benjamin Cope, Jr. While investigators originally said he was 2 years old, IPD said Cope, Jr. was 3 years old when they released his name on Monday.

The shooting was reported as a possible drive-by at about 4:30 p.m. Friday near S. Glenwood Avenue and E. Wilson Road. Investigators discovered that it wasn’t a drive-by, and the boy was handling the gun when it fired.

A man who was in the home and fled after the shooting was arrested in Omaha. The man fled after police went to the home to confront him about the incident.

The Douglas County (Nebraska) Sheriff’s Office said the 23-year-old Missouri man got a ride and made arrangements to meet someone at a restaurant in Omaha. But authorities were tipped off about the meeting, so officers were waiting for the man when he arrived Friday.

He hasn’t been charged yet in Jackson County. FOX4 will reveal his name and the charges he faces when prosecutors file the case.

Douglas County Chief Deputy Wayne Hudson said he was trying to break in to a pickup truck when he was arrested. He has been charged with theft in Nebraska and the sheriff’s office is working with investigators in Jackson County.

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