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DA: Police justified in shooting man accused of firing at elementary school

Posted at 2:02 PM, Apr 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-19 15:02:04-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Police officers were justified in shooting and injuring a man suspected of firing shots near an elementary school and threatening law enforcement, Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe said Friday.

No criminal action will be taken against the three officers, Howe said in a news release.

Dylan Ruffin, 26, allegedly fired shots toward Highlands Elementary School in Mission, Kansas, on March 1. According to court documents, police found two shattered windows at the school and bullet holes in a car outside the school.

Officers had visited a nearby residence on West 62nd Street, across the street from the school in Fairway, Kansas, one day earlier on reports that Ruffin had illegally discharged a pellet gun.

Two “hang-up” calls to 911 had also been reported from the residence on the day shots were fired at the school.

Because of this, police went to the home, and Ruffin’s mother told officers that her son was having suicidal thoughts. She said he was inside the house with a gun, though she did not believe he had any bullets.

Ruffin came out of the house a short time later and allegedly pointed a gun at police, prompting two Mission officers and one Fairway officer to open fire at Ruffin, striking him in the leg.

“Under the totality of the circumstances, it was reasonable for the involved officers to conclude that it was necessary to shoot Dylan Ruffin in order to stop an imminent threat to the lives of everyone in Ruffin’s vicinity, including them,” Howe said in the release Friday. “This use of deadly force was consistent with the actions of reasonable police officers.”

Ruffin’s mother later told officers that her son had said in the past that “he wanted to get in a gun fight with police so they could kill him,” Howe said.

She told police that Ruffin had said he “wanted to die” earlier that day.

Officers found apparent bullet holes on a second-story wall of Ruffin’s residence, facing the elementary school.

Ruffin faces three counts of assault on a law enforcement officer and discharging a gun into a building. He is being held on a $500,000 bond.