Archive for Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Lawrence Police Department releases name of officer who shot armed man Sunday morning

June 24, 2014

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The Lawrence Police Department on Tuesday identified the officer who shot an armed man during a disturbance in the 1100 block of Kasold Drive early Sunday morning as 23-year-old Officer Skyler Richardson.

Richardson responded to a call of shots fired near the intersection of Harvard Road and Kasold Drive around 12:30 a.m. Sunday, according to police reports. Upon his arrival, Richardson was directed to a home at 1103 Kasold Drive, where he encountered two people inside. One of the individuals, 24-year-old Lawrence resident Zach Ortiz, was armed with a gun, according to police.

Lawrence Police spokesman Trent McKinley said in a news release Tuesday that Richardson shot Ortiz during the encounter and that a second officer, Terry Haak, 50, entered the home shortly after Richardson had discharged his gun.

Neither Richardson nor Haak was injured in the incident and both remain on paid administrative leave. Richardson has been with the Lawrence Police Department since June of last year, while Haak has been with the department since 1987, McKinley said.

An Aug. 22, 2013, Douglas County Jail booking report for Ortiz involving OUI and transporting an open container charges lists the home on Kasold Drive as Ortiz’s address. It also lists June 21, the day before the shooting early Sunday morning, as Ortiz’s birthday.

The LPD requested the assistance of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office following the incident. On Monday, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office asked the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office for additional investigative resources. McKinley said additional investigators were required to ensure a thorough investigation.

Police have not released details such as the identity of the second person inside the home and what specifically caused the officer to shoot. Details about what was going on at the home and how many shots were fired also cannot be released yet, McKinley said Monday.

The investigation is ongoing. McKinley said additional details will be released following review by the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office and investigating agencies.

Ortiz remains in serious condition at Kansas University Hospital, a hospital spokesman said Tuesday.

On both Monday and Tuesday evenings, law enforcement personnel were seen outside the home on Kasold Drive investigating.

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