Report reveals chain of events of police gunfire with Gardner, Kansas, man

DA says officers' actions were justified
Gardner police shooting incident
Posted at 3:45 PM, Nov 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-22 16:45:14-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Johnson County, Kansas, District Attorney Steve Howe released a report Tuesday into the actions of two Gardner police officers who were part of a confrontation with a subject last July.

While Howe's report says the officers' actions — which included one officer firing a shot, but not hitting the subject — were justified, it outlines a chain of events involving the subject.

On July 27, the report says the subject, Connor Ditlevson, was experiencing a mental health crisis and his parents were working to get him treatment.

Ditlevson eventually volunteered to be taken by ambulance to Olathe Medical Center under the accompaniment of at least two Lenexa police officers.

READ | Howe's report

Howe's report indicates the officers were assured — the report doesn't indicate who gave the assurance — they could leave Ditlevson under the care of medical center personnel.

The report says that after officers left, personnel became unsure if Ditlevson was in their care voluntarily or involuntarily, and allowed him to leave using a car sharing service.

After leaving the hospital, Ditlevson went to his parents home in Gardner, where he allegedly retrieved a gun from a safe, according to the report from Howe. He then left the home and began running toward New Life Church.

Ditlevson's father and brother began chasing him, during which he fired shots into the ground.

A responding officer, who was made aware of the circumstances surrounding Ditlevson, spotted him running near Moonlight Road and approached him in his patrol car before pursuing him on foot.

During this pursuit, Ditlevson allegedly fired additional shots, prompting the officer to return fire. Neither the officer nor Ditlevson were struck.

Eventually, Ditlevson dropped his gun after he had turned it on himself, after which officers provided medical assistance.

Howe's report determined the officers' actions were justified during the course of the exchange with Ditlevson.