Archive for Sunday, March 18, 2007

D.A. clears detective in shooting

March 18, 2007


Lawrence police officer involved in shooting will not face charges

A Lawrence police officer who shot and killed an armed woman in September will not face criminal charges. Enlarge video

Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson won't file criminal charges against any member of the Lawrence Police Department in the shooting death of a Lawrence woman last year.

In a letter written to Police Chief Ron Olin on Friday, Branson said that Detective Troy Squire was justified in the Sept. 24 shooting of Marsha Mace to protect himself, other officers and the public.

"In fact, the evidence developed in the investigation, including handwritten letters found in the residence, indicates that Mace's conduct was likely intended to provoke the police officers at the scene to shoot her," Branson wrote in a five-page letter. "Therefore, no criminal charges will be filed against Detective Squire in the shooting of Mace."

Mace was shot at the end of a four-and-a-half hour standoff with police at a residence in the 100 block of Michigan Street. She died later that day at Kansas University Medical Center.

According to Branson's letter, officers said Mace walked out the front door of the residence, looked directly at two officers and fired one bullet at the officers with a black revolver.

Squire fired three shots, according to the report. Investigators conducted interviews with several witnesses, two who said officers told Mace to put her hands in the air before hearing gunshots.

An autopsy indicated that Mace died from two gunshot wounds, one to her chest and the other to her leg.

It also showed there was no evidence that Mace had brain tumors; Mace told an officer that she was suffering from four brain tumors, which she said caused her to lose her job.

A toxicology report indicated the presence of alcohol, an antidepressant and cocaine.

Attempts to reach a member of Mace's family were unsuccessful Saturday.


leadrain 11 years, 1 month ago

Sad, but necessary. If she had a Magnum in her hand the patrolcar likely would not have stopped a round. And I think everyone knows that trailers don't have the thickest walls. It's a miracle noone else was hit. Her story is tragic, indeed.

TheGoldenBoy 11 years, 1 month ago

There is one thing about the shooting that I can't help but WONDER about! Detective Squire fired a 9 mm rifle at Martha Mace claiming his life was in danger but an earlier report stated that there was a patrolcar in between the trailer and Squire. With this in mind, it makes me wonder whether his life was really in mortal danger when he shot her! The word is that Squire is highly respected in the LPD so I hate to second guess him. Its just something I can't help but wonder about though. Anybody else have any thoughts about this and Martha Mace?

A final word: Thanks for the fine detective work you did on the Boardwalk Apartment homicide/arson case. Good job Detective Squire-you da man!

topflight 11 years, 1 month ago

Police officer's are not out on the street to get fired upon and hide. Someone shoots at a cop, they get shot. They have every right to protect themselves. Obvioulsy he felt imminent danger, and he did what he was trained to do. Just becuase he has cover, or is hiding behind a car, it does not matter. SHE SHOT AT THE POLICE YOU IDIOTS. Goldenboy, you just continue to say "would you like to biggie size that", and let the police do their job.

adky 11 years, 1 month ago

Goldenboy - being highly respected in the LPD is hardly a badge of honor. You have only to ask what would have happened if you or I had cowered behind a car and shot a disturbed woman DEAD as she came out of her home shouting? That's right - we'd be getting the Squire inquisition and then be spending spring in the county jail.

riverrat2 11 years, 1 month ago

And if her shot would have hit a child would you all be o.k. with the end result? Plumberscrack is correct in that the officer will have to live with 'her' decision. I also wish she could have received help with her problem but that didn't happen. What did happen was that someone decided to supply her with cocaine and we all know the end result. The coke may have been the reason she thought she had tumors? I think the whole community is sorry this ended this way....may she rest in peace now.

rousseau108 11 years, 1 month ago

Adky, not sure if you just made a typo or were deliberately trying to downplay Mace's actions, but she was not shot because she "came out of her home shouting," she was shot because she came out of her home SHOOTING.

compmd 11 years, 1 month ago

Trusting a car to stop a bullet isn't a great idea. She was firing wildly, so there was no telling where a bullet might end up. The detective did his job, it is unfortunate that it meant taking a life, but that is a risk one takes when becoming a police officer.

yellowhouse 11 years, 1 month ago

Yes I have to agree

You cant be shooting at cops and live to tell about it. It is a very sad situation but its the truth, they have to protect the public and themselves.




ALL ELSE IS SINKING SAND....................yellowhouse.

jafs 11 years, 1 month ago

The most interesting and sad part of this article is that the autopsy showed she had no brain tumors.

My understanding of what had caused her to be so depressed that she wanted to kill herself was those serious medical conditions which she could not afford to have treated.

Does anyone know why she was under that misapprehension?

Very sad.

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