Bridge shooting suspect appears in court

John Richmeier
Jason R. Westrem

A man who is accused of shooting at people on the Centennial Bridge was in court Wednesday.

Jason R. Westrem, 37, Houston Lake, Missouri, made his court appearance through the online Zoom service.

Zoom is being used for many proceedings in Leavenworth County District Court because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Westrem appeared on Zoom from the Leavenworth County Jail where he is in custody.

Westrem is charged with nine felony counts including attempted first-degree murder in connection to a May 27 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.

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

David Royer, who was serving in the Army at the time, has been credited with stopping the May 27 shooting incident by striking the suspect with his pickup truck.

During Wednesday’s court appearance, District Judge Gerald Kuckelman confirmed that he is appointing defense attorney John Bryant to represent Westrem.

“These are very serious charges,” the judge said.

Bryant said he believes there may be some evidence in the case that he had not yet received through the discovery process. Bryant said he also may seek psychological records related to the defendant.

Bryant said he needed some time before scheduling a preliminary hearing in the case. He requested at least 30 days.

Kuckelman scheduled a status hearing for Sept. 30.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR