JOHNSON COUNTY, Kan. -- Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe announced Wednesday that the off-duty officer who shot and killed a man armed with a gun at a Lenexa Costco at the end of November will not face any charges.
"It is our belief that this officer acted with extreme courage, and saved an unknown amount of innocent lives by his actions inside the Costco warehouse on Nov. 26," Howe said in a news release Wednesday.
The parking lot of the Costco off I-35 and 95th Street was packed with people that Sunday when police say a man was brandished a weapon inside the store and threatened to kill shoppers.
Among those shoppers was off-duty Kansas City, Kan., police officer Cpt. Michael Howell. That officer shot and killed Ronald Hunt, who Howe says was armed with a loaded black powder pistol.
"He could hear Hunt threatening to kill people," Howe said. "He could see the gun. The officer was concerned for the safety of the evacuating customers, and decided to confront Hunt."
According to the news release the off-duty officer identified himself as a police officer and ordered Hunt to put his weapon down. When Hunt failed to comply and began to act aggressively towards the officer, Cpt. Howell shot him.
Hunt died from his injuries, but no one else in the store was injured.
Cpt. Howell has more than 20 years of experience in law enforcement.