Kansas City police detective convicted in fatal shooting no longer with the department

·3 min read

Kansas City police detective Eric DeValkenaere, who was convicted in the 2019 shooting death of Cameron Lamb, is no longer with the police department, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.

DeValkenaere was found guilty of second-degree involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action in the shooting that took place as Lamb, 26, backed his pickup truck into the garage of his home at 4154 College Ave.

The detective’s last day with the police department was Monday. Capt. Leslie Foreman said under Missouri’s Sunshine Law, the department cannot say whether DeValkenaere retired, resigned or was terminated.

Police previously said the department was in the process of terminating DeValkenaere following the November bench trial before Jackson County Circuit Court Judge J. Dale Youngs.

Laurie Bey, the mother of Lamb, said Wednesday that DeValkenaere should have been terminated immediately after being convicted.

“That’s not right. That’s a slap in the face to us, the family that loved Cameron and feel that he should still be here,” Bey told The Star. “I don’t understand why he wasn’t stripped of his job when the guilty verdict came out.”

Bey noted that Kimberly Potter, the former police officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright in a Minneapolis suburb after she mistook her gun to be a Taser, was immediately taken into custody after being convicted in the killing.

“He (DeValkenaere) still gets to sit down eat meals and still have a position,” she said. “Really? That’s not right.”

DeValkenaere is scheduled to be sentenced March 4 and faces up to four years on the manslaughter conviction and at least three years for the armed criminal action charge, according to Missouri law. Youngs will decide if those are to be served concurrently or consecutively.

A case management conference is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

Defense attorney Molly Hastings has said they plan to appeal the conviction. She declined to comment Wednesday on Devalkenaere’s separation from the department.

The shooting unfolded after officers investigating an unrelated vehicle crash reported a red pickup truck chasing a purple Ford Mustang. Officers in a police helicopter spotted the truck driven by Lamb and followed the vehicle to his residence on College Ave.

DeValkenaere said he fired a series of gunshots after Lamb pointed a gun at his partner, detective Troy Schwalm. Police investigators found Lamb inside the pickup with his left arm and head hanging out of the driver’s side window. On the ground near his left hand was a handgun, police said at the time.

Prosecutors alleged the crime scene was staged and evidence was planted. They also said it took only nine seconds from the time DeValkenaere arrived at the front yard of the house to the moment he shot Lamb.

In announcing his verdict, Youngs said that DeValkenaere and Schwalm did not have a search warrant or an arrest warrant, and did not have consent to be on the property. There were no circumstances where someone was harmed or in imminent danger that would have allowed the detectives to be in the backyard, Youngs said.

The guilty verdict renewed calls for Police Chief Rick Smith to be removed or step down. Smith was criticized after audio of him calling Lamb the “bad guy” at the scene of the shooting was released.

Smith will leave his position in the spring.

Eric DeValkenaere, a Kansas City police detective, testifies at his trial for the fatal shooting of Cameron Lamb. DeValkenaere was charged with first-degree involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action.
Eric DeValkenaere, a Kansas City police detective, testifies at his trial for the fatal shooting of Cameron Lamb. DeValkenaere was charged with first-degree involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action.
Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting