Shootout results in deaths of Overland Park officer, man recently charged in Lawrence burglaries
photo by: Associated Press
Story updated at 5:47 p.m. Monday:
OVERLAND PARK — A shootout in Kansas left both a police officer and a hit-and-run suspect dead, authorities said.
The suspect had also been charged in January in connection with multiple burglaries in Lawrence, and Douglas County prosecutors on Friday had filed a motion to revoke his bond. A family member in February had written the judge a letter saying that she feared the man was a threat to her family.
Overland Park Police Officer Mike Mosher died at a hospital Sunday evening, Police Chief Frank Donchez said. Mosher was off duty but in uniform when he saw an apparent hit-and-run and pursued the suspect, which led to a shootout, police spokesman Officer John Lacy told news outlets.
The suspect, 38-year-old Phillip Michael Carney, died at the scene, according to police. An interagency Johnson County team tasked with investigating police shootings will handle the case, the police chief said.
Police didn’t immediately say what led to the exchange of gunfire.
Mosher had been with the Overland Park department for nearly 15 years, and he was named officer of the year in 2019. He is survived by a wife and daughter.
photo by: Associated Press
“But I know that I speak for Mike when I say that he was proud to be a police officer. It’s all he ever wanted to do. He loved what he did,” Donchez said, adding that Mosher was good at his job.
Carney, of Overland Park, was charged earlier this year after Cigar House, 106 W North Park St. in Lawrence, was burglarized on at least three occasions. He had also been charged with battery of a law enforcement officer and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer in connection with his arrests during the reported burglaries. The police affidavit supporting one arrest stated that Carney had threatened an officer with a marbled stone ashtray in a sock.
In a letter to the court on Feb. 13, a family member had explained a series of threats she said Carney had made against her and other family members. He had recently threatened to kill one with an assault rifle, she wrote in the letter; he had also slashed the tires of family members’ vehicles and broken out a window in one car, she wrote.
photo by: Douglas County Sheriff’s Office
“He has upped his game as far as threats go,” the letter said. “He needs help for his addictions and we believe he will only get that help if he is in jail. We do not think it is in our best interest for him to be out since his threats get more and more violent.”
Carney had been arrested Thursday, Jan. 2, and Saturday, Jan. 4, in connection with the reported cigar shop burglaries, the Journal-World has reported. After his first arrest, he was also charged in connection with an alleged Nov. 11, 2019, burglary at the same location.
At his Feb. 13 hearing, Carney was charged with tampering with his electronic monitoring device that had been a condition of his release from jail in the prior cases. After the judge read the family member’s letter during that hearing, Carney was remanded and booked into the Douglas County Jail on $290,000 total cash or surety bond in multiple cases.
However, despite the high amount, Carney made bond and was released on Feb. 20.
Chief Assistant District Attorney Eve Kemple on Friday had filed a motion to revoke Carney’s bond in all four of his pending Douglas County District Court cases. In the motion, she wrote that Carney was being charged with criminal threat for an incident that occurred on April 28.
“The defendant has a history of violent and erratic behavior and a close member of his family provided information to the Court and the parties regarding the defendant’s history of violence and drug abuse,” Kemple wrote. “The defendant has convictions for misdemeanor crimes of battery, domestic battery and assault. … That the defendant is capable of violence is demonstrated by his own repeated behaviors and is reflected in the criminal charges he is facing.”
Kemple wrote that on April 28, Carney was heard threatening a victim with violence, though the circumstances of the alleged incident are not very clear from what’s in the motion.
“The victim told officers that in his line of work he is yelled out frequently but that the defendant’s threats were different and he was afraid for himself and his coworkers,” the motion said. “The other witnesses who heard the defendant’s threats were also scared, alarmed and concerned for the victim’s safety.”
Kemple wrote that “Not only has the defendant failed to remain a law abiding citizen, but he is continuing to engage in violent and aggressive behavior, putting safety of the community at risk.”
Carney was self-employed as a ballroom dance instructor, the Journal-World has reported. According to the family member’s letter, dance students had bailed him out multiple times, including incidents outside of Douglas County, and had enabled him to continue drug and alcohol use. The letter stated that Carney was “taking handfuls of Xanax” at one point.
“These well meaning friends keep rescuing him from his behavior and he does not stay sober,” the letter said.
The Overland Park Police Department had not lost an officer in the line of duty since 1985, news outlets reported Lacy said.
Mosher’s death “is a tragic reminder of the enormous debt of gratitude we owe the men and women in law enforcement for protecting our communities,” Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said in a statement.
— The Associated Press contributed to this article.
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