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Shooting prompts policy review at Shawnee Mission School District

Highlands elementary shooting
Posted at 7:25 PM, Mar 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-05 21:39:26-05

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — The Shawnee Mission School District said Tuesday they are reviewing their policies following Friday's shooting outside Highlands Elementary at 62nd and Roe.

"If we can learn something and do something better the next time, we absolutely will," said David Smith, a district spokesperson.

Smith and other district leaders talked with concerned parents Monday evening and provided them with a minute-by-minute timeline of how Friday's events unfolded.

It's the first of its kind meeting as police continue their investigation.

The district said just before 1:30 Friday afternoon two teachers with students on the playground heard gunfire. When they brought the children back inside, they made a disturbing discovery.

"There was glass in the classroom, a third grade classroom. There was no one in the classroom when the incident happened but when they went back in they saw glass on the floor. We investigate and learned that was a bullet hole in the window of that classroom," Smith said.

The district said as police tried to figure where the bullets came from they did a door-knock at the house of a person who would turn out to be the alleged gunman.

"I know they went to the house previously and there wasn't anybody there so there wasn't any reason for us to think that were was any continuing situation and i don't think the police thought that either otherwise we would have dealt with things differently," Smith said.

School staff was halfway through dismissing the students when the next wave of gunfire erupted.

In the shooting police wounded the suspect, Dylan Ruffin, who remains behind bars.

On Monday, 41 Action News reported about Ruffin's criminal history in which involves the 26-year-old going to a treatment facility as a condition of his probation in one case.

While the Fairway Police department won't confirm if a Johnson County Mental Health Co-Responder was ever was called to Friday's scene, there's likely not much that could have done.

"These kind of situations where we you have an armed assailant or a suspected individual with a weapon of some sort that really isn't a secure situation where we would want a co-responder to go into," Tim Deweese, director of the Johnson County Mental Health Center told 41 Action News.

The school district said they'll be reviewing their policies over the next several weeks.