SRO wounded in Kan. high school shooting praised for quick response

Officials said the outcome of the shooting could have been far worse without Officer Erik Clark's response


By Sarah Ritter and Zach Murdock
The Kansas City Star

OLATHE, Kan. — Erik Clark has been identified as the school resource officer who was injured in the shooting at Olathe East High School on Friday, according to the Johnson County Sheriff's Office.

Clark suffered injuries along with an assistant principal. The suspect, who is a student, was shot in the abdomen, according to radio traffic from the officer, captured by Broadcastify.com. The Olathe Police Department said the shooting occurred in an office area, and a suspect was in custody.

Officials at Overland Park Regional Medical Center said in a written statement Friday afternoon that the two victims had been discharged from the hospital. The student remained there in critical condition.

Clark called in the shooting Friday morning, according to scanner traffic captured by Broadcastify.com.

"I've been shot," Clark told dispatchers moments after the shooting. He advised that two others, including the suspect, had also been shot.

He was also heard saying, "I have applied a tourniquet on myself."

The call for help drew responses from across Johnson County, with police departments sending officers to the school at 14545 W. 127th St. Many praised Clark for his service and quick response to the shooting.

Several community members called Clark a hero. And many felt the outcome of the shooting could have been far worse without his response.

Clark is an officer with more than 15 years of service, including seven as a school resource officer, according to Olathe police, in a tweet from the start of this school year.

Social media posts from parents and community members describe Clark as a positive influence at the school. The police department posted photos in 2019 of Clark speaking to a class of students about "his role in their school, ways for them to be safe online, and other safety topics, as well as answering all their law enforcement questions."

At the start of this school year, the police department introduced students to their school resource officer over Twitter. The department tweeted that, "Officer Clark is a huge @Royals fan, and if you have a chance check out his office, he has an impressive #bobblehead collection!"

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(c)2022 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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