LENEXA, Kan. – The Lenexa Police Department has released surveillance footage showing the moments before an off-duty officer shot and killed an armed man who entered a Lenexa Costco filled with customers on Nov. 26.
The video shows the suspect, identified as 58-year-old Ronald Hunt, entering the building, threatening several people with what authorities later said was a loaded black powder pistol.
People began running in the opposite direction or hiding, and the suspect followed at a walking pace.
Another angle shows customers shopping, then suddenly running in panic as they learned there was an armed man in the store.
As Hunt made his way through the aisles, off-duty Kansas City, Kansas, police officer Capt. Michael Howell re-entered the building and tracked the suspect.
The 22-year veteran of the force had been inside shopping at the time. He first helped employees evacuate the building and made sure someone called 911.
In the video, Capt. Howell can be seen holding his gun in front of him as he moved through clothing displays to catch up to Hunt.
The pair disappears into an aisle not visible on the surveillance camera, where police said Capt. Howell issued commands, which Hunt did not follow, and instead pointed a gun at the officer. To protect himself and others, Capt. Howell shot and killed the suspect.
Lenexa Police Chief Thomas Hongslo said Capt. Howell acted heroically, and saved an unknown number of lives.
“Law enforcement is always at a disadvantage when they go into an active shooter like that in a large building. If he would have not taken care of the threat at that time, officers went into an unknown building like that -- he saved officers’ lives, also showing great courage and going above and beyond,” Honglso said.
The Johnson County District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday that Capt. Howell will not face charges in the shooting.