A Gladstone man, described by his mother as angry with the world and armed with newly purchased assault-style rifles, has been charged in a Friday standoff that led to a school lockdown.
By LAURA BAUER
The Kansas City Star
After holding police at bay for more than five hours, Darin G. Krienke eventually explained that he wasn’t shooting at them but at a woodpile in his backyard. According to an affidavit describing the charges against him, he said the rifle purchase was “because of the Obama administration.”
Clay County prosecutors charged Krienke, 46, on Saturday with two counts of first-degree assault of a law enforcement officer, two counts of armed criminal action and one count of unlawful use of a weapon — for possessing a firearm while intoxicated. Bond was set at $250,000.
The incident unfolded about 1 p.m. Friday when police went to the 7300 block of North Wyandotte Street on a report of shots fired. When officers arrived, they heard more shots.
The gunshots prompted a lockdown at Linden West Elementary School, next door to the home where Krienke lives with his mother.
According to court records:
As officers from multiple agencies set up a perimeter around the home, they continued to hear gunshots. At one point an officer observed a rifle barrel in a rear window that appeared to be pointed at him and heard three or four rounds fired.
Another officer reported seeing a rifle barrel aimed at him from under stairs on the home’s southeast side. He took cover and heard three rounds fired in his direction.
Krienke’s mother told police her son was intoxicated when she left the home about noon. After police tried to contact him by phone and deployed tear gas into the home, Krienke’s mother eventually reached Krienke by phone and talked him into speaking with police. He lives in the home’s basement.
Krienke was taken into custody just after 6 p.m. After he was arrested, Krienke’s blood alcohol level tested at .261.
When questioned Saturday, he said he had purchased the rifles for sport and self-defense. One had been giving him trouble so he started shooting it into a woodpile to see if it would work properly.
“He usually goes to a rural farm area in Kansas to shoot,” the court records read, “however he had been unable to go there recently due to the heavy snowfall on the roads.”
Krienke also told officers that he saw a black van in his backyard Friday, and after officers shot tear gas into the home, he picked up the canisters and threw them in the trash. At one point during the standoff, he took a nap. At 5:30 his brother called and told him to turn on the television.
Police said Krienke admitted his behavior was wrong.
“He acknowledged he was highly intoxicated and stated the incident would not have happened if he had been sober,” the records said.