Olathe East High School officer and administrator injured in shooting, student arrested
Students are being reunited with their families following an hours-long lockdown. The suspect, an 18-year-old male student at Olathe East, was shot and injured.
A school administrator and resource officer were injured in a shooting Friday morning at Olathe East High School. The suspect, an 18-year-old male student at Olathe East, is in custody.
At a news conference Friday afternoon, Olathe Police Department reported that the suspect was shot by the school resource officer.
There is no active threat at this time, and police say there are no reports of injured students.
All three of the injured individuals were taken to Overland Park Regional Medical Center.
Olathe Police public information officer Sgt. Joel Yeldell said the department received a call shortly after 10:30 a.m. that shots were fired at the high school. He said an incident had occurred in the school’s office area between a student and administrator.
According to a press release from Olathe Police on Friday evening, the school resource officer was called to the high school's main office for an "administrative matter" involving the student, who then produced a handgun. The student and officer then exchanged shots.
18-year-old Jaylon D. Elmore, a senior at Olathe East, was charged with attempted capital murder Saturday by the Johnson County district attorney.
The charge said Elmore shot Olathe School Resource Officer Erik Clark intentionally and with premeditation.
A Johnson County District Court judge set Elmore’s bail at $1 million.
The school administrator injured has been identified as assistant principal and athletic director Kaleb Stoppel. Clark and Stoppel were released from the hospital on Friday, according to reports.
“I'm in the same boat as the rest of you all, and parents here in Olathe of being shocked in this incident,” Yeldell said. “But I am also, at the same time, grateful to report that our SRO did this job and was injured because of it, and we have no students injured at this time other than the suspect."
Families reunite with children
Olathe Schools says that students who walk or are picked up by parents will be transported to California Trail Middle School at 13775 West 133rd Street.
Kids who ride buses will be sent home from Pioneer Trail Middle School at 15100 West 127th Street.
"Student drivers will be released in a staggered fashion and escorted to their vehicles," the district tweeted. "Special Education bus riders will come home on buses from Olathe East as normal."
Keicia Stillman and her 14-year-old daughter Kamryn, a freshman, were among the first to be reunited. Another daughter, also a freshman, had yet to arrive.
“I’m not letting ’em go. They ain’t going nowhere. You see this hook? When she got off the bus, I checked her whole body,” Stillman said. “I’m so happy I started crying when I got her off the bus, I about jumped up on her.”
Brian Koester, the father of a senior at Olathe East, said his daughter called him right after the shooting happened. Koester's daughter said she was in the room next door when she heard about six shots.
“I mean, it's crazy, you see it all the time," Koester said. "I mean, thank god, hopefully the people that were shot don't end up dying from it. But, thank god it was just as limited as it was."
Austin Henry, a freshman at Olathe East, said he decided not to go to school this morning.
“I woke up this morning, and I figured something might have happened or something. I don't know. I just didn't. Something didn't feel right,” Henry said. “And I was like, 'Mom, maybe I just need to sleep it off and I'll be fine.' And I wake up to cops rushing down the street going to (Olathe) East.”
Scott Goodman, a parent of a 15-year-old at Olathe East, said he usually doesn’t like his daughter having her phone at school. But he said it’s times like this where he’s glad that she does.
“I'm just glad none of the kids were hurt because it seems like all too often in these shootings, it's always a kid that's hurt,” Goodman said. “That’s the last thing you want is to have a life ended early like that, before they've even started.”
The district says that counseling services for students and staff will be made available until 7 p.m. Friday at California Trail Middle School and Pioneer Trail Middle School.
"Our thoughts are with the entire Olathe East High School community today," tweeted Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly just before noon. "We are closely monitoring the situation on the ground & are in communication with law enforcement."
"Our gratitude is with the SRO who risked their life to protect our children from harm today," tweeted Ron Ryckman, speaker of the Kansas House of Representatives. "Please join me in keeping this officer and all our Olathe schools community in your prayer."
Special agents from the Kansas City Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) are on the scene to assist the investigation.