WyCo DA won’t pursue criminal charges against KCKPD officer in John Anderton shooting

The Wyandotte County District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday they would not pursue criminal charges against the Kansas City, Kansas, police officer who fatally shot a man in February.

John Anderton, 50, was believed to be “reaching inside of his waistband for a gun,” at the time of the fatal shooting, said Jonathan Carter, a spokesman for the office in a release explaining the decision.

“The officer ordered Anderton to stop reaching. Anderton did not comply,” the release said.

“The police recovered a gun at the scene. The officer acted within the bounds of well-established use of force law in Kansas.”

The determination came after reviewing evidence related to the Feb. 3 shooting, which took place shortly after authorities were called at 5:45 p.m. that Friday evening to a reported drug overdose.

Officers located a man and a woman at a home in the 5400 block of Haskell Avenue who were unresponsive and later taken away by an ambulance.

Police then said they witnessed another man fleeing the house on a bicycle. The information was relayed over police radio, prompting other officers to respond to assist in finding him.

A few blocks away, near 52nd Street and Georgia Avenue, a police officer spotted a man who matched the description, said Officer Donna Drake with the Kansas City Police Department in a previous statement. KCPD handled the investigation as part of an agreement to investigate Kansas City, Kansas, police use of force cases.

The officer involved attempted to stop him, an “exchange of some sort” followed, and the officer fired at the man, Drake said.

No officers were injured. Only one officer fired a weapon, Drake said.

The officer was placed on paid leave pending the outcome of the investigation, per KCKPD policy. They are the latest member of the department to not see criminal charges following a fatal police shooting.

In May, the Wyandotte County District Attorney’s Office decided to not pursue charges in the case of another Kansas City, Kansas, officer who discharged their weapon and killed 25-year-old Amaree’ya Henderson.

A Door Dash driver, Henderson had been pulled over April 29 in a traffic stop near the Kansas City, Kansas, 12th Street Bridge. The office determined following a review of police surveillance that Henderson “was driving the car at a high rate of speed while the officer was stuck between the door and the driver’s compartment. While holding on to the moving vehicle the officer told the suspect to stop.”

Henderson allegedly “refused commands” before the officer discharged his weapon.

In both cases, the office concluded that police “had used deadly force to prevent death or great bodily harm.”