Jackson County deputy who shot woman in back pleads guilty

Charges stemmed from August 2019 scooter incident
Committee announces finalists for Jackson County Sheriff
Posted at 6:29 PM, Jan 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-25 19:29:44-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office deputy who shot a woman in the back in August 2019 has pleaded guilty to a Class B felony.

The Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office announced Monday that Lauren Michael pleaded guilty in county court to first-degree assault.

She will be sentenced March 25.

Prosecutors agreed to drop an armed criminal action charge as part of the plea agreement, which includes 120 days of shock time as part of a six-year suspended sentence and three years of probation.

Michael, 30, was working traffic in the Westport area on Aug. 8, 2019, along with other Jackson County Sheriff’s deputies.

Two people were seen on a Bird scooter traveling south on Main Street in the northbound lanes.

A deputy tried to get the scooter riders to stop, but they continued on as deputies initiated a pursuit, cutting off the scooter by pulling into a parking lot near 37th and Main streets as it collided with the deputy’s patrol vehicle.

The passenger, a 25-year-old woman later identified as Brittany Simek, fled the scene on foot.

Michael continued to canvas the area and located Simek sitting on a porch in the 400 block of Oak Street, where a struggle ensued between the deputy and the woman.

After being tased, Simek, who had been pulled to the ground by her hair, again attempted to flee when Michael fired five shots — four that hit Michael and one that struck a vehicle parked along the street.

Simek, who was shot in the back and buttocks with hollow point bullets, is a retired Coast Guard veteran and former rower at the University of Kansas.

She filed a civil lawsuit against Michael in November 2019 alleging an “intentional, reckless and irresponsible assault, tasering and shooting.”

Michael initially told deputies that Simek took her Taser and used it against her before she opened fire, but video evidence from the dashboard camera and other evidence contradicted her version of events.

For instance, both Taser cartridges were fired within three seconds of each other.

Michael was charged in October 2019 with assault and armed criminal action.

The incident was at least the second time Michael had shot someone. She killed a suspected shoplifter, Donald Sneed, in May 2017 during a struggle in the parking lot as he attempted to flee a Walmart in Raytown.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker’s office announced plans to reexamine the Sneed shooting, for which Michael received a Medal of Valor, in October 2019.

41 Action News has reached out to the Jackson County Sheriff's Office for comment.

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