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Critical Incidents and Community Briefings

We offer a variety of community-oriented programs residents and community members can participate in.

As a department, we strive to work in partnership to protect and serve our community with honor, integrity and professionalism. We do this through building trusting relationships with residents and businesses in Lenexa.

We have created this Critical Incidents and Community Briefings webpage to be transparent with residents regarding critical events, while also maintaining the integrity of the investigation process. We appreciate your understanding that it takes time to thoroughly investigate critical incidents. It is always our intention to share information as soon as we can. 

As a matter of protocol, critical incidents that involve police officers from a Johnson County law enforcement agency are investigated by the Johnson County multi-jurisdictional Officer Involved Shooting Investigation Team (OISIT). OISIT is a group comprised of well-trained, professional investigators from law enforcement agencies across Johnson County. While the Lenexa Police Department does have members that serve on the OISIT, those members are excluded from investigations which directly involve Lenexa officers, which is standard OISIT practice.

Critical incident — May 25, 2021

As Chief of the Lenexa Police Department, I want to communicate to you about the critical incident that occurred Tuesday morning at the Extended Stay America located at 8015 Lenexa Drive. Because of the far-reaching effect of this incident, I feel compelled to share the following update, with permission from the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office and the Johnson County Officer Involved Shooting Investigation Team (OISIT).

As a matter of protocol, shootings that involve police officers from a Johnson County law enforcement agency are investigated by the Johnson County multi-jurisdictional Officer Involved Shooting Investigation Team (OISIT). As such, OISIT is leading this investigation. OISIT is a group comprised of well-trained, professional investigators from law enforcement agencies across Johnson County. While the Lenexa Police Department does have members that serve on the OISIT, they are intentionally excluded from this investigation because of our direct involvement in it, which is standard OISIT practice. Please know that the OISIT investigators do not consult with, nor require any permission from, our department as they conduct their thorough and independent review of the facts of this case. Their task is to follow the facts, wherever they may lead, and record them accurately.

The Lenexa Police Department’s role is to ensure that members of the OISIT have free and open access to whatever they need for their investigation, including police reports, body camera footage, interviews of all involved persons, and anything else they deem necessary for their investigation. I can assure you that our full cooperation with the OISIT is happening in this case, and will continue to happen until the investigation is concluded.

After the investigation is completed, the OISIT report will be submitted to the Johnson County District Attorney's Office for their review. Ultimately, it is the District Attorney that makes the determination as to whether this officer-involved shooting was legally justified. This process can take up to several weeks, and we fully support the investigative process. The results of this investigation will, as always, be made public.

In addition to, but separate from the OISIT investigation, the Lenexa Police Department conducts an internal administrative investigation to investigate if the use of force was legal, ethical and within department policy.

The OISIT has provided us the following basic facts that led up to our involvement in the incident on Tuesday, May 25, 2021.

At around 5:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning, our dispatchers received 911 calls about a physical disturbance occurring in one of the hotel rooms at the Extended Stay America.

As patrol officers arrived at the hotel, one of them contacted hotel staff in the office and was given an electronic room key. Officers standing outside the room in question could hear the sounds of a disturbance inside. Officers knocked on the door to the room, announced their presence as police, and asked the occupants to open the door. No one inside the room opened the door.

Officers used the electronic key to attempt entry into the room. A manual door latch on the inside prevented its opening from more than a few inches. Officers had to kick the door to gain entry.

Immediately upon the door being forced open, the officers were fired upon from inside the room. All three officers retreated away from the door upon being shot at.

Two officers returned fire, and the occupant of the room who had a gun was struck.

I ask for your continued patience while this investigation is taking place. While we understand the desire for information to be released publicly, we in no way wish to hinder the investigation by the premature release of evidence or information, including body-worn camera video.

I have personally been in ongoing contact with the family of the deceased, Mr. Chandler, about this investigation and offered my sincere condolences to them for the loss of their loved one.

As Chief, I can assure you that our police department will continue to strive every day, in every encounter, with everyone, to serve with honor, integrity, and professionalism.

— Dawn M. Layman, Chief of Police


UPDATE: Aug. 13, 2021

On Aug. 13, 2021, Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe announced that Lenexa Officers' use of force in this incident was legal and justified under Kansas law.