Suspected killer in Richland shooting arrested after nationwide search

Richland police investigate a deadly shooting

Richland police investigate a deadly shooting Friday night at Columbia Park Apartments off of Jadwin Avenue.
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Richland police investigate a deadly shooting Friday night at Columbia Park Apartments off of Jadwin Avenue.

Update: Richland murder suspect charged in St. Louis with shooting at police during standoff

A convicted felon wanted for gunning down a West Richland man in May was arrested in St. Louis, Mo., after a standoff.

Kyle Johnson-Clark, 27, was arrested on a $1 million nationwide murder warrant issued by a Tri-Cities judge.

He’s accused of shooting a 30-year-old West Richland man in the back of the head as he tried to run away from his killer in Richland.

Daniel S. Rice was confronted as he stood in the parking lot of a Richland apartment complex, possibly looking for a woman who was staying there.

When the woman told her boyfriend that Rice was outside, Johnson-Clark grabbed his 9mm handgun and ran downstairs, according to investigators.

A short time later he allegedly fired at least six shots at Rice in the parking lot of the Columbia Park Apartments on the 1600 Block of Jadwin Avenue.

On Friday, Richland police posted on Facebook a thank you to other state, local and federal law enforcement agencies that helped with the investigation and Johnson-Clark’s arrest.

No other information was available about the arrest from St. Louis officials or when he might be returned to Benton County.

The Herald previously reported that Johnson-Clark used to live in the St. Louis area and has a criminal history in Missouri.

Kyle Johnson Clark.jpg
Kyle A. Johnson-Clark

Court documents show Richland detectives previously found Johnson-Clark’s gun tossed into the Columbia River near the Snyder Boat Launch in Leslie Groves Park. The slide was forward, indicating the magazine was still partially loaded, court documents said.

A second, full magazine was found in nearby brush where Johnson-Clark had been seen walking after the shooting, said police.

Investigators later discovered the magazine in the gun was missing several rounds, but the remaining 9mm ammunition matched the empty casings at the scene, documents said.

Rice died at Kadlec Regional Medical Center with his mother by his side. Family members said he was shot four times.

Daniel Rice
Family members remember Daniel Rice, 30, as having a huge heart of gold. He had two younger siblings. Courtesy Juanita Austin

‘Extensive weapons convictions’

Investigators noted in court documents that Johnson-Clark “has extensive weapons convictions from other jurisdictions.”

In 2013, he was accused of biting and punching his girlfriend while in a store, according to a Patch news story.

The woman, when told by police that Johnson-Clark was being arrested, responded: “You guys want him to kill me? I told you I didn’t want to prosecute.”

In May, detectives say Johnson-Clark was living at the Columbia Park Apartments on Jadwin and called someone immediately after the shooting to pick him up at Chief Joseph Middle School.

They made a stop at Leslie Groves Park, then he eventually was dropped at the Walmart in Kennewick, according to court documents.

Further investigation revealed that his girlfriend “had a relationship” with Daniel Rice and the two used methamphetamine together while she was dating Johnson-Clark, documents said.

Johnson-Clark allegedly told his girlfriend, if questioned by police, to say he had been in Spokane during the shooting.

Then, after hearing someone had already seen him at the scene, he told his girlfriend to say Rice had a gun and shot at Johnson-Clark first, court documents said.

Investigators noted that no weapon was found on Rice.

Kristin M. Kraemer covers the judicial system and crime issues for the Tri-City Herald. She has been a journalist for more than 20 years in Washington and California.