Student record

Olathe East SRO’s use of force justified after shooting student, DA says

The whole exchange happened in seconds. The school resource officer thought he was going to die. This is part of the message behind the investigation into the Olathe East High School shooting earlier this year that injured an administrator, a school resource officer and a student. In the statement released Friday, Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe said an investigation had ruled into the use of lethal force by Olathe East student resource officer Erik Clark. against the suspect Jaylon Elmore, was justified. Clark, who had spent the past seven years working as an SRO and had been a police officer for 15 years prior, radioed for help on the morning of March 4, 2022, just after 10:30 a.m. The report released by Howe on Friday details what happened in the moments before, during and immediately after this shooting. The report states that that day, school administrators became aware of a rumor that a student had brought a gun to school. Two administrators, one identified as Deputy Director Kaleb Stoppel, identified the suspect as 18-year-old Jaylon Elmore. The administrators informed Clark that there might be a problem with the weapon, removed Elmore from class, and instructed him to bring his backpack with him to the principal’s office. The administrators told Elmore to bring his backpack so he had his laptop. The report states that at this point they did not mention the gun problem in Elmore. The report goes on to say that Elmore and Stoppel entered Stoppel’s office together and sat down at a small table. Elmore kept his backpack on his back. Stoppel and the other vice principal ‘cooled down’ in a discussion about a ‘rumor’ that ‘someone’ had a gun at school, and eventually told Elmore they had to search his bag back. Elmore declined, as previously reported. According to the report, Stoppel, identified only as the “senior male assistant” in the document, texted Clark saying “Come to my office now,” at 10:35 a.m. Because Clark had already been made aware of a potential firearm. problem, he knew that Elmore was also in the office. Elmore always refused. Clark stood there, in full uniform, armed, but with his firearm still holstered. “What happened next took seconds from start to finish,” Howe explains in the report. The report states that Stoppel again asked Elmore to allow him to search his backpack. Elmore then rose, along with Stoppel. Elmore allegedly swung his backpack from his back to his chest. Stoppel approached Elmore. Stoppel told investigators he didn’t see what happened next, but directed a series of shots “coming right to where my head was.” The assistant principal in the room told investigators she saw Elmore pull a gun from his backpack, point it at Clark, and fire. The report says she told investigators Elmore fired “at least three times” before Clark could respond. “He just started shooting at me,” Clark told investigators, explaining that he saw Elmore draw a gun and shoot him at close range. die. He pulled out his own gun and fired back. The report goes on to state that during the firefight, Stoppel tackled Elmore and they fell to the ground with Stoppel on top of the student. Clark noted at this point that Elmore was no longer a threat and holstered his gun. Both vice principals told investigators that Elmore fired before Clark could draw his gun. The report says Clark began tending to his own wounds, applying a tourniquet as previously reported. Clark also gave staff instructions on how to deal with Elmore. Police and other first responders arrived at the scene soon after. The report notes that Clark was shot in the left thigh, right chest and left arm/shoulder area. His body-worn camera, which was mounted squarely in the middle of his chest, was destroyed by a bullet in the shooting. Clark was shot four times and survived. Stoppel was also shot twice, receiving wounds to the thigh and forearm. The report states that Elmore was shot twice: once in his abdomen and once in his left thigh. He eventually spent several weeks in hospital, requiring surgery, before being transferred to prison custody. Ballistic records are also new to this report. Investigators determined that four fired casings recovered from the scene were fired from the Polymer80 9mm “ghost gun” used by Elmore. A bullet removed from Clark’s shoulder was fired from that same gun. Ballistics also show that four other fired casings recovered from the scene were fired by the 9mm Glock carried by Clark. Each individual fired four times. It was only after being shot that Clark fought back. Clark shot Elmore twice, and both wounds on Stoppel were “most likely” from Clark’s bullets. “The Olathe school resource officer thought he was going to die when Jaylon Elmore pulled out a handgun and started shooting at him. He watched the muzzle flashes and felt the bullets hit his body,” Howe said in the report. “It was a sudden outburst of deadly violence without provocation.” “Objectively, the facts support this belief.” it was reasonable for the officer to use lethal force against Jaylon Elmore.

The whole exchange happened in seconds. The school resource officer thought he was going to die.

This is part of the message behind the investigation into the shooting at Olathe East High School earlier this year which injured an administrator, a school resource officer and a student.

In the statement released Friday, Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe said an investigation concluded that the use of lethal force by Olathe East student resources officer Erik Clark against the suspect Jaylon Elmore, was vindicated.

Clark, who had spent the past seven years working as an SRO and had been a police officer for 15 years prior, radioed for help on the morning of March 4, 2022, just after 10:30 a.m.

The report released by Howe Friday details what happened in the moments before, during and immediately after this shooting.

The report states that that day, school administrators became aware of a rumor that a student had brought a gun to school. Two administrators, one identified as Deputy Director Kaleb Stoppel, identified the suspect as 18-year-old Jaylon Elmore.

The administrators informed Clark that there might be a problem with the weapon, removed Elmore from class, and instructed him to bring his backpack with him to the principal’s office. The administrators told Elmore to bring his backpack so he had his laptop. The report states that at this point they did not mention the gun problem in Elmore.

The report goes on to say that Elmore and Stoppel entered Stoppel’s office together and sat down at a small table. Elmore kept his backpack on his back. Stoppel and the other vice principal ‘softened up’ in a discussion about a ‘rumor’ that ‘someone’ had a gun at school, and eventually told Elmore they had to search his bag back.

Elmore declined, as previously reported.

According to the report, Stoppel, identified only as the “senior male assistant” in the document, texted Clark saying “Come to my office now,” at 10:35 a.m. Because Clark had already been made aware of a potential firearm. question, he knew that Elmore was also in the office.

Clark walked into the office and stood by the door as the administrators told Elmore that he should allow his backpack to be searched. Elmore always refused. Clark stood there, in full uniform, armed, but with his firearm still holstered.

“What happened next took seconds from start to finish,” Howe explains in the report.

The report states that Stoppel again asked Elmore to allow him to search his backpack. Elmore then rose, along with Stoppel. Elmore allegedly swung his backpack from his back to his chest. Stoppel approached Elmore. Stoppel told investigators he didn’t see what happened next, but directed a series of shots “coming right to where my head was.”

Stoppel said he didn’t even see Elmore had a gun before the shots were fired.

The other assistant principal in the room told investigators she saw Elmore pull a gun from her backpack, point it at Clark, and fire. The report says she told investigators Elmore fired “at least three times” before Clark could respond.

“He just started shooting at me,” Clark told investigators, explaining that he saw Elmore draw a gun and shoot him at close range.

Clark said he felt the bullets hit his body and at that moment he thought he was going to die. He took out his gun and fired back.

The report goes on to state that during the firefight, Stoppel tackled Elmore and they fell to the ground with Stoppel on top of the student. Clark noticed at this point that Elmore was no longer a threat and holstered his gun.

Both vice principals told investigators that Elmore fired before Clark could draw his gun.

The report says Clark began tending to his own wounds, applying a tourniquet as previously reported. Clark also gave staff instructions on how to deal with Elmore.

Police and other first responders arrived at the scene soon after.

The report notes that Clark was shot in the left thigh, right chest and left arm/shoulder area. His body-worn camera, which was mounted squarely in the middle of his chest, was destroyed by a bullet in the shooting.

Clark was shot four times and survived.

Stoppel was also shot twice, receiving wounds to the thigh and forearm.

The report states that Elmore was shot twice: once in his abdomen and once in his left thigh. He eventually spent several weeks in hospital, requiring surgery, before being transferred to prison custody.

Ballistic records are also new to this report. Investigators determined that four fired casings recovered from the scene were fired from the Polymer80 9mm “ghost gun” used by Elmore. A bullet removed from Clark’s shoulder was fired from that same gun.

Ballistics also show that four other fired casings recovered from the scene were fired by the 9mm Glock carried by Clark. Each individual fired four times. It was only after being shot that Clark fought back. Clark shot Elmore twice, and both wounds on Stoppel were “most likely” from Clark’s bullets.

“The Olathe School Resource Officer thought he was going to die when Jaylon Elmore pulled out a handgun and started shooting at him. He watched the muzzle flashes and felt the bullets hit his body,” Howe said in the report. “It was a sudden burst of deadly violence without provocation.”

“Objectively, the facts support this belief.”

Howe goes on to write, “This was clearly a situation of deadly force. Under all of the relevant laws and cases cited above, it was reasonable for the officer to use deadly force against Jaylon Elmore. “

Clark will not face charges.

Elmore has been charged with attempted capital murder and remains in jail awaiting trial.