Springfield, MO – An Independence police officer who was fatally shot in the line of duty last week gave a gift of life to a Springfield officer by donating his kidney to him.
Independence Police Department (IPD) Officer Blaize Madrid-Evans was murdered in the line of duty on Sept. 15 while responding to a report of a person who was possibly wanted.
When 22-year-old Officer Madrid-Evans and a second IPD officer arrived at the scene to investigate, a gunman opened fire on them, The Kansas City Star reported.
Officer Madrid-Evans was shot in the attack and later succumbed to his wounds at a local hospital.
His partner was able to return fire, killing the suspect, The Kansas City Star reported.
Officer Madrid-Evans began his law enforcement career as a Kansas City Regional Police Academy cadet in January.
He graduated from the academy on July 8 and was still completing his field training when he was murdered, KMBC reported.
Officer Madrid-Evans was also an organ donor, the Springfield Police Department (SPD) revealed in a press release on Monday.
Independence police say Officer Blaize Madrid-Evans was critically wounded in today's shooting. He's just 22 years old and he started his career with the police department this year. pic.twitter.com/JayT96Wcsh
— Nick Sloan (@NickSloanKCK) September 15, 2021
SPD Officer Mark Priebe, who was left paralyzed after being intentionally hit by a vehicle outside police headquarters in the line of duty on June 9, 2020, began dialysis in July after doctors discovered his kidneys were failing, the SPD said.
The married father-of-two has served the SPD for 21 years.
On Sept. 17, Officer Priebe received a call that he and Officer Madrid-Evans were a match.
The organ transplant took place at a St. Louis hospital the following evening, the SPD said.
“I am forever grateful to Officer Madrid-Evans and his family for providing this direct donation,” Officer Priebe said in the press release after the operation was complete. “I truly believe God had his hand in this and it’s been difficult to comprehend why I am allowed to continue to live, and this young, brand-new officer had to pay the ultimate sacrifice.”
On Sept. 15th @ipdinfo Officer Blaize Madrid-Evans, was shot and killed in the line of duty. Officer Madrid-Evans was an organ donor and Springfield Police Officer Mark Priebe, needed a new kidney. The two were a match.#donatelife
Read their story here: https://t.co/bbKUkIyTB4 pic.twitter.com/ON7M2NrcwX
— Springfield PD (@SGFPolice) September 20, 2021
“I hope that I can honor him and his family by the way I live my life,” he added.
Officer Priebe’s wife, Heather, noted her husband’s surgery occurred on National Thank a Police Officer Day, the SPD wrote.
“We are still emotional from this whole situation, as you can imagine, and this is part of our journey that you cannot make up,” she said. “Mark has once again been given a second chance, thanks to a member of our thin blue line family. We hope we have the opportunity to meet Officer Madrid-Evans’ family in the near future and we pray for them as they navigate through the days ahead.”