Former FBI agent: Dash cams hold some answers in girl's death - KPTV - FOX 12

Former FBI agent: Dash cams hold some answers in girl's death

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LEAVENWORTH, KS (KCTV) -

Dash cameras hold a lot of answers surrounding the finals moments in determining who fired the shot that killed a 5-year-old girl during a shootout between police and a man suspected of abducting her, law enforcement close to the case said.

Former FBI agent Michael Tabman said reviewing video cameras frame-by-frame from Leavenworth police patrol is only part of the investigation in a case he calls "very unusual."

It started late Friday night when Cadence Harris was allegedly kidnapped from where she was staying in Atchison.

Her accused abductor, who family members have identified as 30-year-old Marcus McGowan, then led police on a chase into Platte County before turning around, driving back into Kansas and into Leavenworth.

That was where the chase ended.

The suspect got out of the car and there was an exchange of gunfire between him and two Leavenworth officers, Leavenworth Police Chief Pat Kitchens said.

Video cameras from police patrol cars captured some of the exchange of gunfire. Cadence was later found dead in the vehicle.

"You had an innocent girl, maybe not directly in the line of fire, but possibly in the line of fire. Police have to use an awful lot of discretion," former FBI agent Michael Tabman said.

Kitchens said not everything that happened was caught on tape.

At one point the suspect can be seen pointing a gun toward officers. Kitchens said not everything that happened was caught on tape.

Tabman said most reported child abductions don't mirror the ending of Friday night's shootout with a quick hail of gunfire.

"In this situation, where he kidnapped someone apparently he knew, apparently there was a relationship. It is usually to anger someone else," Tabman said. "But yet here we have a dead child. It was unusual where it doesn't often end this way."

Tabman said law enforcement will begin with Cadence Harris' death and work backwards looking for answers.

"How did this little girl die? Did she die during the cross fire? Was it a cold-blooded murder? Was it a stray police bullet? That is the immediate thing. We have a homicide. They are investigating this as homicide. Even though it is mostly like just this individual in custody now, we're always looking at was someone else is involved," Tabman said.

Those answers could be released in further detail Monday, when police say another update may be available.

Some wonder McGowan, a man with a reported checkered criminal past that included prison time, had a gun.

McGowan has spent time in prison, court records show, and had an active warrant for his arrest after missing an Atchison County court hearing Thursday in a domestic violence case involving Cadence's mother.

"When these strange and violent things happen, we want to know why," Tabman said.

It is the question, Tabman says can often be the hardest to find.

"There is never going to be an answer. That is going to satisfy us that something so tragic happened," he said.

To help with Cadence's funeral expenses, her family asked that donations be made via GoFundMe or in cash at High Noon Saloon & Brewery, 206 Choctaw St., in Leavenworth. Click here to donate online.

Fundraising events and funeral information will be posted on the Angels for Cadence Facebook page as they are scheduled.

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