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No charges filed against Leavenworth officer who shot, killed man charging at her with weapon

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Posted at 9:31 AM, Feb 06, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — No charges will be filed against the Leavenworth police officer who shot and killed a man who allegedly charged at her while brandishing a knife on Jan. 6.

Leavenworth County Attorney Todd Thompson announced Tuesday that he determined the officer acted in self-defense and that it appears the man involved committed suicide by police.

“Sadly, this appears to be a case of suicide by a cop," Thompson stated. "Instances like these are unfortunate; officers go to work every day, hoping they don’t have to use any type of force, yet they remain prepared to do so when necessary.”

The Leavenworth Police Department responded around 9 p.m. on Jan. 6 to the 400 block of N 5th Street on a reported homicide made by a 911 caller who said he had a gun and knife, according to Thompson's review of the incident.

Upon arrival, officers encountered 44-year-old Michael L. Mills of Indianola, Iowa, reportedly holding a knife in the front yard of a residence, per the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

Police allegedly told Mills multiple times to put his hands up and drop the knife, but he instead allegedly ran towards an officer and said "pull the trigger," investigators determined.

The officer fired three shots at Mills, striking him. Mills was handcuffed and received immediate medical assistance. He was transported to an area hospital where he died from gunshot wounds just under an hour later.

Thompson determined it was reasonable for the officer to believe deadly force was needed to protect herself from harm.