LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. -- Jeffrey Lanahan was shot by a Lee's Summit police officer on Sunday, when police and witnesses say he charged at an officer while holding a 12-inch butcher knife.
One of the people who was inside the house at the time of Lanahan’s breakdown described the knife Lanahan was holding when he charged at the officer as a machete.
Although she was a victim of what has been described as rage, she says she prays for Lanahan and his family, because Lanahan was having a tough time.
Lanahan, 34, died outside of the home he grew up in on Hickory Street in Lee’s Summit. It was a tragic end to weeks of turmoil and friends say he just snapped under mounting pressure.
"He had just recently lost his dad, was in an argument with his step-mom, was in the process of moving out, but at the same time it surprised me," said Jeff Marcotte.
Lanahan lived with his father and step-mother, and six weeks ago, Lanahan’s world began to fall apart when his father died during a vacation to Hawaii, and money woes forced Lanahan’s step-mom to sell the family’s home. Packing up and moving, friends say, threw him into a depression, which culminated Sunday afternoon.
Police say a husband and wife were at the Lanahan home helping Jeff’s step-mom prepare to move out. At some point, witnesses say Lanahan lost control and began attacking people in the house, which led to a 911 call and Lanahan rushing out of the house with a weapon.
It is a surprising story to his friends who were not there to see it.
“When things would stress him out, he would just kind of get up and walk around and let things blow off," Marcotte said.
Friends say Lanahan had Aspergers, a condition on the autism spectrum, which could have contributed to his loss of control.
It’s not like the friend Lanahan’s buddies say they knew; a quiet, nice guy who was into comics and gaming, and would spend every Sunday with a group of friends playing, including Marcotte.
“Most of the time we would talk about the game that we were involved in or the comics that either he or I would pick up, just kind-of normal geek kind of things, you know?” he said.
The police officer who shot Lanahan is a veteran with over 25 years on the force. He is on paid administrative leave while the shooting is under investigation.