Bridge shooting suspect competent to stand trial

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times
Jason Westrem

A man accused of shooting at people last year on the Centennial Bridge is competent to stand trial, a judge ruled.

The ruling came as Jason R. Westrem appeared Wednesday in Leavenworth County District Court, according to court records.

Westrem, 38, Houston Lake, Missouri, is charged with nine felony counts including attempted first-degree murder in connection to a May 27, 2020, incident on the Centennial Bridge.

The bridge stretches across the Missouri River from north Leavenworth to Platte County, Missouri.

Westrem is accused of firing at occupied vehicles on the bridge.

An affidavit prepared by a Leavenworth police detective alleges Westrem fired at least 15 shots from a handgun and at least 23 rounds from an AR-15 style rifle.

One person was wounded by gunfire. Westrem also was injured when he reportedly was struck by a vehicle.

David Royer has been credited with stopping the shooting incident by striking the suspect with his pickup truck.

The ruling that Westrem is competent to stand trial came after District Judge Gerald Kuckelman granted a request for the defendant to be evaluated at a state hospital in Larned.

During Wednesday's hearing, Kuckelman scheduled a preliminary hearing for Oct. 27, according to court records.

Evidence will be presented during the hearing, and the judge will determine whether the case against Westrem should proceed.

Westrem is free on bond.

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