OLATE, oh. (KCTV) — The officer who shot the suspect in the Olathe East High School March shooting has been acquitted of his actions and will not be charged, the Johnson County Attorney said Friday.
A school resource officer shot four times at close range by a gunman returned fire and shot twice at a suspect in a quick and violent confrontation in the principal’s office on March 4.
Police said the student notified school staff that the student, Jaylon Elmore, had brought a gun to the school. Two assistant directors entered Elmore’s classroom and dragged him out, asking him to bring a backpack with him. While all three were sitting in the deputy director’s office, the administrators asked to search Elmore’s backpack, investigators said.
The student refused to allow his backpack to be searched. SRO entered the office and stopped at the door. The assistant director again asked Elmore for his backpack, whereupon Elmore stood up, pulled out a gun, and shot those in the room, according to the Olate Police Department and the findings of Johnson County Attorney Steve Howe’s office.
The director’s assistant knocked the student to the ground, while SRO officers returned fire and shot Elmore four times, hitting him twice, the prosecutor’s office said.
After a quick exchange, the SRO holstered his weapon and attended to his injuries, as well as instructing the staff on how to treat Elmore’s injuries.
In total, three people were shot:
-CRO, in the chest, leg and shoulder.
– Deputy Director, in the thigh and forearm.
– A student, presumably Jaylon Elmore, in the stomach and left thigh.
All participants survived.
The investigation revealed that Elmore allegedly used a 9mm Polymer80 pistol. The SRO used a 9mm Glock pistol issued by the agency.
The prosecutor found that the shooting was justified by the SRO under Kansas law. Howe’s conclusion reads:
“Olate school resource officer thought he was going to die when Jaylon Elmore pulled out a gun and started shooting at him. He watched the muzzle flashes and felt the bullets pierce his body. It was a sudden burst of deadly violence without any provocation. Objectively, the facts support this belief. The director’s assistant told investigators that G. Elmore pulled out and fired his pistol before the SRO had a chance to respond. The SRO was shot four times, resulting in three gunshot wounds. It was clearly a deadly situation. In accordance with all relevant legal acts and cases mentioned above, it was reasonable for the officer to use lethal force against Jaylon Elmore. In light of Mr. Elmore’s pending criminal case and my ethical obligations under Supreme Court Rules 3.6 and 3.8, I will not be holding a press conference or making any further comment at this time.”
Elmore remained in the hospital for several weeks recovering from his gunshot wounds. He was later transferred to the Johnson County Detention Center, where he remains on $1 million bail. He was charged with attempted capital murder and pleaded not guilty. His next court date is a conference scheduled for August. 17 at 11:00 a.m. in the Johnson County Division 17.
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