Gardner police officers involved in a shooting are reinstated, and have been back at work for several weeks now, according to Gardner Police Chief Jim Pruetting.
The officers were put on paid leave following a fatal shooting at a Gardner home.
Two Gardner officers responded to a report of a disturbance in the 400 block of North Birch Street on March 26. A male resident of the home had called to say a woman resident had fired a gun inside the home. When officers arrived, they shot and killed Deanne Choate, 53.
According to statement released shortly after the incident, a team of investigators from several area law enforcement agencies concluded that Choate did not follow the officers’ command to put down a handgun. However, the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office still had to review the case.
According to a release from the district attorney’s office, the review was completed on March 26.
“It is the determination of the District Attorney that the Gardner Police officer’s use of force was justified under Kansas law,” the release reads. “Therefore, no criminal action will be taken against that officer.”
The DA’s office cleared officers of wrongdoing in a letter dated May 12. That process can take months, but Pruetting said the officers have been back at work for several weeks now.
The officers did visit with a psychiatrist and were mentally cleared to return to work.
“If it doesn’t look like there are any issues with the shooting, or with the officers’ mental state, yeah, I cleared them,” he said.
The names of the officers involved in the shooting were not released. However, one of the officers is a 10-year veteran of the Gardner Police Department. The other has served on the police force for more than a year.
DA clears officers in fatal shooting