Johnson County DA says deadly force justified, releases body-cam video of Olathe police shooting

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Johnson County prosecutors will not charge an officer that shot and killed 27-year-old Olathe man Brandon Lynch on New Year's Eve in 2022.

District Attorney Stephen Howe announced that he determined deadly force was justified after Lynch approached officers with a knife in a home located in the 900 block of East Oakview Street.

"It is my determination that the officer properly use deadly force in this incident and will not be facing any charges," Howe said.

Howe explained his reasoning behind the determination not to charge the officer, while also releasing body camera video of the incident.

Officers were initially called to the home where the shooting took place by a family member concerned with Lynch's mental state and the safety of other family members in the house.

The family member calling police can be heard saying Lynch has schizophrenia in the recording. Howe played a portion of the initial 911 call to police at the press conference Wednesday.

The D.A. then displayed a portion of the body camera footage from that night. He then provided a diagram showing the size of the room where the shooting took place and Lynch's proximity to officers.

Officers can be heard multiple times in the body camera footage asking Lynch to put both a stun gun and knife that he was holding down.

The video shows Lynch walking toward officers throughout the house before police opened fire near the home's entrance.

Officers attempted to use a Taser on Lynch, to no effect, when he began advancing toward officers.

After the D.A. spoke, Olathe Police Chief Mike Butaud addressed the media.

"As always, being forced to take an action that causes the death of another is a tragic event that is never a desired outcome," Butaud said. "Fortunately, it's a very rare one."

The police chief emphasized that his officers receive training for crisis intervention and mental health first aid.

Butaud was asked by reporters why a health professional wasn't on the scene during the incident.

"When the officers arrived at the scene, it took three minutes, less than three minutes, for this all to evolve," the Chief said. "A co-responder would not have been engaged into this situation even if they were at the scene.

Lynch having a weapon also would have prevented a mental health professional from being inserted into the situation, according to Butaud.

The D.A. shared that Lynch had also previously been committed to the mental health department's care just over a month before the shooting occurred.

Howe also said that that situation wasn't a standard mental health crisis response because Lynch was armed and had reportedly attacked and threatened other family members before police arrived.

Howe provided what he considered the bottom line in the case.

"Law enforcement officers do not have to be assaulted, stabbed or shot under the laws of the state of Kansas. They have a right to defend themselves and defend others. And that's what happened in this case," Howe said.

The Johnson County Multi-Jurisdictional Officer Involved Shooting Investigation Team was activated to lead the investigation of the incident.

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ThisIsButter1 (10202.00)

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