The investigation into a man’s shooting death by Lawrence police is now in the hands of the Douglas County district attorney, according to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.
Police shot and killed Michael S. Blanck, 43, the evening of Sunday, Oct. 2, according to the KBI.
Melissa Underwood, a KBI spokesperson, said that Thursday morning, KBI agents had “presented investigative findings” to the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office.
“The District Attorney will now require time to closely review those findings, and apply case facts to applicable law before a charging decision can be made,” Underwood said.
Cheryl Cadue, a spokesperson for the DA’s office, said via email Thursday that “We are doing a rigorous review of the KBI’s investigative findings.”
According to previous information released by the KBI, LPD officers were dispatched to the home in the 1700 block of East 21st Terrace around 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2 for a report of a burglary and broken window. Officers learned that a man was likely inside and the homeowner was not present, the release stated.
“Officers did not enter the residence,” according to the release. “They were attempting to learn more information about the suspect.”
Blanck eventually came out of the residence, the release says. Officers “attempted to make verbal contact with him at the front of the house. During this interaction, Blanck pulled out a handgun and pointed it at officers,” the KBI news release alleged.
Three of the five responding officers fired at Blanck, and he was struck with multiple rounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the KBI.
A witness at the scene said he heard multiple shots fired by at least two people, and when he arrived, one person was already on the ground. The witness said an officer was visibly distraught. No officers were physically injured in the incident, according to the KBI.
Some community members have asked whether the county’s mobile crisis response team was dispatched to this incident, and why or why not. Laura McCabe, a spokesperson for the Lawrence Police Department, said she was unable to access detailed reports from the investigation as the KBI was handling the case. The KBI did not provide any information in response to our questions about the crisis response team.
Blanck was a Free State High School alum, “forever a Jayhawk,” and he “took great pride in his best role as Uncle Mike,” according to his obituary. He is survived by his wife, father, two brothers and two sisters.