NewsOlathe East Shooting


Olathe East student allegedly used ‘ghost gun’ in shooting at school

Olathe East Shooting.jpg
Posted at 12:48 PM, Mar 07, 2022

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The student who has been charged with attempted capital murder for shooting Olathe East School Resource Officer Erik Clark on Friday in an incident at the school used a ghost gun.

Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe confirmed in an interview with KSHB 41 News that the gun Jaylon Elmore, 18, allegedly used in the shooting was an untraceable firearm.

"I feel very strongly, we need to stop this," Howe said. "It is clearly not helping violence in our country.”

Olathe East Assistant Principal and Athletic Director Kaleb Stoppel and Elmore also were shot during the exchange.

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or ATF, is working with Olathe police and state officials on the shooting investigation.

ATF officials are trying to ascertain how Elmore obtained the firearm — casings, from which, will be entered in the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network for further investigation.

It is illegal for a licensed dealer to sell a handgun to anyone under 21 years old in Kansas or Missouri, and it is illegal for an 18-year-old to buy handgun ammunition unless those bullets also can be used in a long gun.

Elmore, who was charged Saturday with attempted capital murder, remained hospitalized Monday.

He was scheduled for a first appearance in court, but did not make it. A judge appointed Paul Morrison, former Attorney General of Kansas and former Johnson County District Attorney, to represent Elmore on Monday.

A judge also set conditions for Elmore including not going within 100 yards of Clark.

Elmore is scheduled for another court appearance on March 17.

He remains in critical but stable condition at Overland Park Regional Medical Center.

Both Clark and Stoppel were treated and released from the hospital Friday afternoon.

Ghost guns kits, which can be bought online without a background check and assembled at home, have been a growing problem for law enforcement on the U.S. coasts for several years and more recently have started turning up increasingly in the Kansas City area.

Such firearms are designed to skirt gun laws, including laws against selling guns to convicted felons and minors, and remain largely unregulated.

“It’s a way to get around the registration and licensing requirements because it comes in parts," Howe said.

Howe said he hopes to work with legislators to change that.

“I’m a big Second Amendment person, but ghost guns (are) really only being operated by unlawful individuals who shouldn’t be having firearms," Howe said. "I think that’s something we’re going to take from this is that those types of firearms should be stopped.”

It’s the second high-profile shooting incident in as many weeks believed to involve a ghost gun.

A ghost gun also was used in a recent murder-suicide in Lenexa.

Three people died on Feb. 27 in a shooting in the 8400 block of Laurelwood.

Dustin Johnson, 37, of Belton allegedly shot and killed John Williamson, 20, and Sarah Beck, 22, at the Lenexa residence before turning the gun on himself. All three died from gunshot wounds.

Belton police with help from the ATF searched Johnson’s residence and found explosives in a vehicle registered to him.