SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KOLR) — Last week, a police officer in Independence, Missouri, was shot and killed while on duty. Even after his death, officer Blaize Madrid-Evans helped one of his own by donating a kidney.
Madrid-Evans was killed on Sept. 15 after being shot and critically injured by a suspect during a call for service. Sgt. Andy Bell, with the Missouri State Highway Patrol, said Independence police received a tip that led them to a home in the neighborhood.
When the two officers arrived at the house, a man armed with a handgun met them and shot Madrid-Evans, investigators said. The uninjured officer returned fire and hit the gunman.
Madrid-Evans was an organ donor. On Sept. 17, the family of Springfield Police officer Mark Priebe was notified that Madrid-Evans and Priebe were a match for a kidney donation.
The Priebe family then went to St. Louis to have surgery to transplant the kidney the following day.
In June 2020, Priebe was intentionally struck by a vehicle outside of the police headquarters, leaving him paralyzed. In June 2021, Priebe learned his kidneys were failing, and the next month, he began dialysis, according to the Springfield Police Department.
“I am forever grateful to Officer Madrid-Evans and his family for providing this direct donation,” Priebe said Sunday. “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. I hope that I can honor him and his family by the way I live my life.”
“September 18 was National Thank A Police Officer Day. It was also the day that Mark was the recipient of a new kidney,” said Priebe’s wife, Heather. “We are still emotional from this whole situation, as you can imagine, and this is part of our journey that you cannot make up. 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.”