Off-duty cop shoots, kills Kansas City newlywed firefighter hours after wedding, police say

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Police have released details in the case of a third-generation Kansas City firefighter who was shot and killed by an off-duty police officer hours after the firefighter was married.

Anthony Bruno was shot about 2:30 a.m. Sunday, just hours after he had been married Saturday, Fire Department spokesman James Garrett said.

The officer, who has not been identified, was working an off-duty job when he responded to a reported assault downtown on a cab driver, police said. When the officer approached, the man attacked him.

"During the assault, the subject pinned the officer to the ground and struck him multiple times about his face and head," Police spokesman Capt. Tye Grant said in an email Monday. "Fearing for his life, the officer eventually fired his handgun, striking the man."

Bruno was pronounced dead at a hospital.

"It's a pretty devastating loss,' Garrett said Monday. "We're all one big family. We intimately know the Brunos."

Fire Chief Paul Berardi said Bruno was "a courageous and dedicated firefighter who had been with the department since 2008." He is survived by his father, who is a retired deputy fire chief, his mother, two sisters and his new wife.

Grant said the officer was taken to a hospital with severe head injuries.

"He has been released from the hospital while his swelling goes down. Once it does, he will return to the hospital for surgery to repair facial injuries," Grant said.

Grant said the investigation "is still in progress."

Garrett, with the fire department, said police have "assured us it's going to be an unbiased, thorough investigation."

WCPO sister station KSHB.com in Kansas City, Mo. , has been looking more deeply into the case. Read their report below:

New details have emerged from police reports describing what happened before a Kansas City police officer shot and killed a Kansas City firefighter.

According to one of the police reports, 26-year-old Anthony Bruno, his wife and a friend were taken to the Marriott Muehlebach Hotel in downtown Kansas City by a cab.

According to the report, the cab driver told police Bruno and his wife were discussing whether or not to pay the driver to take their friend home who was apparently intoxicated. The cab driver told police that during their discussion, the cab’s fare meter was still running.

Bruno began to argue with the driver about the meter and suddenly reached over from the back seat and began hitting him in the face and neck.

Stephanie Steele, who identifies herself as Bruno’s wife in the police report, also gave a statement that differs from the driver’s.

In the report, she says that during their discussion with the driver about the fare, the driver threw their money back at her and her husband and called her an unknown name. She says that’s when Bruno punched the driver.

The second report states Donald Hubbard, a Kansas City police officer, was working in uniform off-the-clock as a security guard at the hotel.

According to police, Hubbard approached the cab and chased Bruno a block to 13th Street and Baltimore.

The two struggled and police say Bruno assaulted Hubbard, hitting him several times in the face and head. Fearing for his life, Hubbard shot Bruno twice in the chest.

Bruno died at the hospital; Hubbard was also taken to the hospital with serious injuries.

Hubbard has been released, but because his face is so swollen, police say he will have to return for surgery once the swelling goes down.

Pete Edlund was a Kansas City police officer for more than 20 years and says he’s never heard of an incident like this one. He says even if Hubbard was off-the-clock, the off-duty officer was obligated to act.

"His obligations are obviously to provide security for that business,” Edlund said, “but he’s also, if he’s aware of crime occurring near him, he’s obligated to go and stop it."

Edlund says there’s no specific protocol when it comes to asking for backup, but Hubbard was obligated to respond.

“You've got to do what you've got to do,” Edlund said.

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