Local News Spotlight

KCK police officer accused of shooting at occupied car

Updated: 2011-12-28T07:46:07Z

By BRAD COOPER

The Kansas City Star

A Kansas City, Kan., police officer has been placed on administrative leave after being accused of firing into an occupied vehicle early Christmas morning.

Prosecutors said Tuesday they have charged Michael Mills, 32, with aggravated assault and criminal discharge of a firearm at an occupied vehicle.

Mills, who was not on duty at the time of the alleged shooting, was arrested and later was released on $25,000 bond.

The shooting occurred near Mills’ home between 1 and 2 a.m. Sunday in a cul-de-sac in the 3800 block of North 112th Terrace. Mills allegedly fired into a car with multiple occupants using a .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun, prosecutors said. No one was hurt. One shot hit the car’s right rear quarter panel and no one is sure where the other one struck.

A police department spokeswoman said Tuesday that Mills is on unpaid administrative leave but she declined to say anything else about the case.

Just what led up to Sunday morning’s shooting was not disclosed Tuesday.

Wyandotte County District Attorney Jerome Gorman said he knew the details of events, but wasn’t ready to reveal them until the case goes to court.

Gorman said it was “more complicated and complex” than Mills just opening fire.

“He was made aware of a situation by somebody else and took some action based upon that,” Gorman said.

Earlier this year, Mills was tangled up in an FBI sting operation of the Kansas City, Kan., Police Department’s SWAT team but he was never charged. Mills was among 10 people who were held as part of the federal investigation into alleged thefts during police searches.

Mills has since joined three other officers in a federal lawsuit that they filed last week against Wyandotte County’s Unified Government, Police Chief Rick Armstrong and 11 other officers.

Mills and the other officers are accusing the Unified Government and the police department of unlawful arrest and detention, excessive use of force, assault and battery. The four officers contend that the police department searched and detained them without probable cause, as well as other accusations listed in their 10-count lawsuit.

All four of the officers were placed on leave last Jan. 5. Mills was able to return to work after a month but couldn’t go back to the tactical police unit because he hurt his shoulder when he was arrested, according to court documents.

Three other officers involved in the sting were charged with stealing while serving a search warrant.

To reach Brad Cooper, call 816-234-7724 or send e-mail to bcooper@kcstar.com.

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