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

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.

A Richland murder suspect faces more charges after being accused shooting at police during a five-hour standoff in St. Louis, Mo.

Kyle Johnson-Clark, 27, is a convicted felon accused of shooting a West Richland man in the back of his head as he tried to run away from is killer in Richland in May.

After being taken into custody Friday, Johnson-Clark was charged in St. Louis with two counts of first-degree assault on a law enforcement officer, two counts of illegal gun possession, two charges of shooting at a vehicle and four counts of armed criminal action.

A SWAT team and St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department crisis negotiators were called to a house in a south St. Louis neighborhood about 9:45 a.m. Friday, said St. Louis police officials.

A Tri-Cities judge issued a $1 million, nationwide murder warrant in May for Johnson-Clark.

Johnson-Clark, Kyle.jpg
Kyle Johnson-Clark

KMOV in St. Louis reported that police had received a tip that Johnson-Clark might be hiding there.

Johnson-Clark fired several rounds from inside the home at an armored vehicle, according to St. Louis police reports.

Law enforcement officers fired no shots.

Guns found inside house

Crisis negotiators were able to talk to Johnson-Clark by telephone throughout the incident, until he and two other adults came out of the house.

Whether the other two adults in the house — a man and a woman — were cooperating with Johnson-Clark or were victims had not been determined over the weekend.

KMOV reported the incident as a possible hostage situation.

A rifle and a handgun were recovered from the home, according to police reports.

U.S. Marshal agents, the FBI and the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Intelligence Department assisted in the incident.

Johnson-Clark is being held in St. Louis without jail. Because of the additional charges, it is not clear when he may be returned to Benton County.

He previously lived in the St. Louis area and has a criminal history in Missouri.

Suspect accused of murdering Daniel Rice

He was wanted in Benton County after confronting Daniel S. Rice May 3 in the parking lot of a Richland apartment complex where he may have been looking for a woman who was staying there, according to court documents.

She told her boyfriend, Johnson-Clark, who lived in the apartment complex, that Rice was outside.

Johnson-Clark grabbed his 9mm handgun and ran downstairs, according to investigators.

Daniel Rice
Daniel Rice, 30, was shot outside a Richland apartment complex and died at Kadlec Regional Medical Center. Courtesy Juanita Austin

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

Court documents show Richland detectives previously found Johnson-Clark’s gun tossed into the Columbia River near the boat launch in Leslie Groves Park.

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.

Suspect allegedly tells girlfriend to lie

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

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

Further investigation after the May shooting 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.

Senior staff writer Annette Cary covers Hanford, energy, the environment, science and health for the Tri-City Herald. She’s been a news reporter for more than 30 years in the Pacific Northwest.