Paola Police Department

PAOLA — Paola police officers responded to a report of gunfire in the city limits on the evening of Friday, Oct. 2, and investigators believe the incident is related to a one-vehicle fatal wreck that occurred later that night on 327th Street in Miami County.

Paola police officers were dispatched to the 200 block of South Castle Street at 7:44 p.m. Friday in response to a report of gunfire. Upon arrival, officers made contact with multiple witnesses and learned a domestic incident had occurred, according to a news release from the Paola Police Department.

The incident involved multiple rounds being fired from the street, where shell casings were later located. All witnesses described the rounds being fired directly into the air, prior to the subject leaving the area. There were no injuries reported, according to the release.

Police investigators determined that the incident was directly related to a fatal one-car crash that was reported at 7:52 p.m. Friday night on 327th Street west of Lookout Road.

Forest Sears, 31, of Paola, was the driver and sole occupant of the vehicle, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Miami County Sheriff’s Office deputies were called to the scene after receiving a report that a vehicle had gone off the roadway and entered a pond.

When Deputies arrived, they found a 2013 Kia Sorento submerged upside down in the pond, approximately 150 feet off the roadway, according to a sheriff’s office news release.

The Osawatomie Fire Department was called for water rescue. The rescue efforts turned into recovery efforts, and the vehicle was removed from the pond, according to the release.

According to witnesses and a preliminary investigation, the vehicle was westbound on 327th Street when it left the roadway to the left. The vehicle went through a cemetery and a front yard before entering the pond, according to the release.

The crash is still under investigation by the Miami County Sheriff’s Office and the Paola Police Department. Anyone with information about the crash is urged to contact the sheriff’s office at (913) 294-3232. Information can also be provided anonymously by using the Tips Hotline at (816) 474-TIPS (8477) or by submitting a tip through the P3 Application or

Editor and Publisher Brian McCauley can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or

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