Officer-involved shooting in Gardner, Kan., leaves 1 woman dead, 2 officers on administrative leave

GARDNER, Kan. - A quiet suburban neighborhood is reeling after a police-involved shooting left one of their neighbors dead.

Police were called to the 400 block of north Birch Street in Gardner shortly before 10 p.m. Thursday after a man called, saying his girlfriend had shot a handgun from inside their home. Authorities arrived just minutes later, where they entered the home, confronting 53-year-old Deanne Choate, originally from Osawatomie, Kan.

The Olathe police news release didn’t give details of how the confrontation continued, but it said it ended with two Gardner officers discharging their handguns, striking Choate and killing her at the scene.

Neighbors told 41 Action News reporter Josh Helmuth they not only heard gun shots.

Christine Hatch, a neighbor, said, "My spouse actually said that he came out and heard a loud scream."

Hatch also said the couple looked happy, always on their motorcycle together, but that the boyfriend was very open about their previous relationship history.

"You know he had mentioned that they were … she was out of town, due to an argument they previously had," Hatch said.

We reached out and spoke with one of Choate’s family members over the phone, who says they are not commenting at this time.

The two Gardner officers who fired the shots have 11 years of experience between them and are currently on paid administrative leave, which is standard.

The name of the boyfriend has yet to be released.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to call the TIPS hotline at 816-474-8477.

Josh Helmuth can be reached at josh.helmuth@kshb.com.

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