OLATHE, Kan. — Confusion reigned Tuesday night in a quiet Olathe neighborhood. Neighbors shared new details with FOX4 after an alleged gunman was later found dead.
“There were people fleeing from that house,” neighbor Melissa Larkin said. “Some were running down the street; others were getting into an SUV.”
FOX4 is learning more about a police shooting and the death of the Johnson County man. Officers were initially called out to western Olathe for an assault.
People who live near 126th Street and Canyon Drive, where the incident happened, said they saw the man run into his next-door neighbor’s house. Then those neighbors ran out.
“I’m just happy that it wasn’t our house that he chose to run into and just praying for the family that is affected,” Larkin said.
Larkin lives across the street. She said at about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, she and her kids heard gunshots.
“It was like a pop, pop, pop,” Larkin said.
About an hour and a half before that, Olathe police said someone called 911 reporting an assault.
“We have information that he was there with his family, and his family is talking with investigators,” Olathe police Sgt. John Moncayo said. “As far as what they’re saying to investigators, I’m not privy to that information.”
Moncayo said officers were on scene investigating when a man came out of the house holding a handgun and ran past an officer. Police said as the man was going into a neighbor’s house, one officer fired at the suspect.
Moncayo said several people who live in that home then ran out.
“He was running in, and they were all running out is what I witnessed,” Larkin said. “I was like, ‘Get back inside the house, kids. Let’s not be outside right now.'”
Larkin said she saw a handful of people run out the front door.
“That was a little scary,” Larkin said.
Then she said two more kids came out the back side of the house.
“As far as if residents were still inside, those are details that are still being worked out, as far as if people were inside and where they were at,” Moncayo said.
Police dispatch audio from Broadcastify details what officers were experiencing.
“We’re trying to get the house clear. We still have one inside. It’s going to be the grandmother. She’s sleeping inside,” officers said over the radio. “The subject shot himself in the front room.”
Moncayo said a React Team used a drone to clear the home, and the suspect was found dead inside.
Olathe police have not released the man’s name at this point.
Moncayo said how the man died and what happened inside the home are still under investigation.
“The drone is what showed them where he was, and they were able to then develop a plan to secure that scene,” Moncayo said.
He said this technology also adds an extra layer of safety for police and the public.
“It’s like a mini helicopter,” Moncayo said. “So they can enter a residence with a drone and officers that are operating the drone can see live feed from the drone. So they can guide the drone without hitting walls and move throughout houses and identify the people involved.”
Nobody else was injured.
Two officers have been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation, per protocol.
FOX4 also spoke to a friend of the man’s wife. They said she has no comment.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call Olathe Police at 913-971-6950 or the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477.