OLATHE, Kan. — The Johnson County district attorney says Lenexa police officers were justified in shooting and killing a man who fired on officers as police tried to enter his hotel room.
Officers believed they needed to act to prevent a woman from suffering further harm, District Attorney Steve Howe said.
Police were called to the Extended Stay America hotel in May, where witnesses reported a man and woman fighting inside one of the hotel rooms.
The district attorney released body camera video Friday from three officers who arrived at the hotel.
Officers heard a woman screaming in pain from inside one of the rooms and a man yelling and striking her.
The video shows officers pounding on the door, yelling for Darren Chandler to come to the door now. Chandler refused. The video shows officers unlocking the door with a key card, only to find the lock bar engaged.
One officer kicked the door open, and the video shows Chandler pointing a 45-caliber handgun at officers and firing two shots as soon as the door opened.
One officer returned fire, but all three retreated from the doorway. Chandler then came out of the room with gun in hand and was shot and killed by police.
“Frankly, the officer said when she went silent, they really felt like her life was in jeopardy,” Howe said in explaining his decision. “And at that point if they do nothing and she ends up getting strangled to death, it would be even worse for those officers to live with the fact that they could have saved her life and did nothing.”
The Johnson County Officer Involved Shooting investigation revealed that Chandler was hit by five gunshots: one each to his neck, abdomen and forearm and two shots hit his left leg. Chandler’s blood tested positive for methamphetamine and morphine.
Officers told investigators they felt an urgent need to help a woman in distress. The woman suffered injuries consistent with being strangled. She told police that Chandler had choked her.