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While Stuckey directed a line of profanities at Micheel, officer Adam Taylor — who was planning to take crisis-negotiation training — tried to strike up a conversation with her. He told her that he was there to help her, and he offered her cigarettes and coffee, according to a written transcript of police-radio traffic that day. He brought up the upcoming Royals home opener, and the birds Stuckey kept in her apartment.
Early in the conversation, Stuckey said, "I want you to kill me." She later gave police her mother's phone number. An officer told Stuckey that they had been unable to reach Stewart.
Stewart says she didn't hear from police that morning.
Otherwise, the transcript shows that Stuckey remained largely uncommunicative. What comments she made were, for the most part, unintelligible.
The patrol-car recording of the conversation starts at 7:07 a.m. and lasts until 9:10 a.m., about a half-hour before the shooting. The transcript indicates no clear threat by Stuckey that she planned to start a fire, and it shows no reaction by Taylor to suggest that she had made such a threat.
Taylor testified in his deposition that she made threats about using an iron and a stove to set the apartment on fire, but those came toward the end of the two hours he spent talking to her.
Micheel said in his deposition, when asked whether Stuckey had made threats to burn down Kenilworth: "Not that I specifically recall, no."
But Roberson, who was in charge of the Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT), said Lovett told him that Stuckey was agitated, threatening herself and officers, and threatening to burn the apartment down.
"[E]n route, that's why he [Lovett] was a little hurried, because she said, you know, 'I'll burn down the place,' " Roberson said in an interview with an OISIT investigator. "I said, 'Well, she's, you know, if she's gonna do it, she'd already done it. So have the fire department stand by in case you see something, but I think it's a threat at this point.' "
Roberson developed an operations plan with other members of the CIRT. They would split into two groups, with one covering the front door of Stuckey's apartment and the other her balcony.
They would set a deadline for Stuckey to come out peacefully. Short of that, they would enter through her front door, immobilize her against a wall using a shield, and have her taken in for commitment at KU Medical Center's psychiatric ward.
Lovett had decided that Taylor and Micheel, both untrained negotiators, could not get through to Stuckey. But two trained negotiators were on-site. One was Corp. Jason Kuder, whose role at the scene was shift supervisor. He did not participate in negotiations; in his deposition, he defended his approach:
Q: Is there a reason you were not involved in that, given your training within the department and that you're the only negotiator in the department at that time?
A: Right. Everything that I saw that was going on on scene, they had not developed any kind of dialog [sic] with her. And as a negotiator, there is no special training that I had that they didn't have that was going to magically make me make her talk to me.
Q: Was there anything preventing you from going up and engaging her?
A: Because I felt my responsibility as the shift supervisor superseded that, yes. Like I just expressed to you, the two of them were trying to get a dialog [sic] going with Ms. Stuckey and had not even begun to that — to do that. And they were doing everything that they could, doing it right, as I was back listening to them or getting updates on the radio or talking to them, as I said earlier, that they were doing everything they can.