OLATHE, Kan. — The Johnson County district attorney says his office has finished its investigation into a deadly Overland Park shooting and determined that Officer Mike Mosher’s use of force was justified.
Mosher, who died May 3 after a shootout with a hit-and-run suspect, also recorded the final minutes of his life.
The Overland Park officer was off-duty but in full uniform as he drove in his personal vehicle to work that day. At about 5:45 p.m. he came across the remains of a hit-and-run crash near 123rd Street and Antioch Road.
Just east of there, at 123rd and Mackey, he would find 38-year-old Phillip Carney, who allegedly rear-ended another driver and fled the scene before his vehicle broke down.
At some point, Carney got out of his vehicle. Mosher called dispatch for backup, saying the suspect “got out of his car and confronted me. Refuses to get back in his car.”
District Attorney Steve Howe said Mosher wasn’t wearing a body camera that night, and his personal vehicle didn’t have a camera system — but he did use his cell phone to record the rest of the encounter.
Mosher repeatedly asked Carney to return to his vehicle, and when the suspect refused, his reasoning was “because I don’t want to.”
According to the cell recording, Carney at one point said, “I know how you guys operate. I don’t trust you.”
Again, Mosher called dispatch for help, and at this point, based on the recording, Carney reached behind his back and grabbed a revolver.
Howe said he pointed it up at first, with his finger clearly on the trigger, before turning it toward Mosher. The Overland Park officer made a move to block Carney’s gun arm, and his cell phone fell to the ground.
From there, the camera catches the sound of one gunshot, five more in rapid succession, a pause then two more.
Two witnesses to the shooting confirmed that Carney was the first to pull a weapon. One said Carney was the first to fire.
Shortly after, citizens and responding officers arrive on scene.
The first officer on scene found both men on the ground, unresponsive. Carney still had a gun in his hand. Mosher’s service weapon was also recovered at the scene.
A nurse who lived nearby did chest compressions on Mosher, along with the responding officer. Mosher was taken to a local hospital where he died from his injuries.
Other responding officers and medics tended to Carney, who was declared dead at the scene.
Toxicology reports determined Carney had amphetamine, diazepam, nordiazepam, alprazolam, benzoylecgonine (cocaine degradation product) and ethanol in his system, according to Howe.
Howe said Mosher was calm and collected while Carney was agitated and uncooperative, even though he wasn’t being arrested or detained.
The district attorney argues Mosher fired his weapon in self-defense and had a right under Kansas law to defend himself from the deadly force Carney used.