KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe said Thursday that he found slain Overland Park Officer Mike Mosher to be justified in using deadly force in a May 3 officer-involved shooting.
“We have reviewed this case in its entirety, and based on our review of all the facts in this case and applying Kansas law, we find that Office Mosher was justified in using deadly force in this incident,” Howe said in a press briefing Thursday afternoon.
At the briefing, Howe released a video detailing the interaction between Mosher and 38-year-old Phillip Carney, who was suspected in a hit-and-run crash.
In the video, which Mosher shot on his personal cellphone because he was on his way to work, Mosher can be heard telling Carney to return to his vehicle as additional officers show up to the scene.
“I don’t know why you stopped and got out of your car and came back to me,” Mosher said.
Carney then said, “You'll figure it out,” moments before taking out a handgun. Shots could be heard as the phone's camera panned away.
Both Mosher and Carney died in the exchange of gunfire that followed.
"It's difficult for us as police officers to watch this. Mike was doing everything right, everything by the book, he was professional, he was courteous, he was calm," Overland Park Police Chief Frank Donchez said.
Donchez also said Carney was a "dangerous individual" who was out of jail on bail and whose own family was afraid of him.
"His family had filed a protection ordered against him. They were deathly afraid of this guy and they actually petitioned a judge in his criminal case to keep him locked up," Donchez said.
Donchez said the department had a "bulletin" on Carney so officers would know to take precautions when dealing with him.
He said had Mosher been on official duty, he might have been able to run his license plate and figure out who it was.
Donchez said the interaction showed how quickly a situation can become dangerous for his officers.
"Mike was a hero and he died doing what he loved, and he died defending his community," Donchez said.