District Attorney Charles Branson announces today, after a review of the investigation of the officer-involved shooting of Nicholas Hirsh that took place on June 15, 2020, there is ample evidence to indicate that it was reasonable for law enforcement officers to believe that deadly force was necessary to protect themselves, other officers, and members of the public from death or great bodily harm.
The video evidence, damage to a Kansas Highway Patrol vehicle, and eyewitness testimony demonstrate that Hirsh began shooting first and was aiming at law enforcement officers, thus giving officers no choice but to fire at him to protect themselves. Hirsh had been involved in a multi-county chase that ended when highway patrol officers disabled his vehicle at the intersection of 19th and Massachusetts Streets. At that point, Hirsh exited his vehicle and beginning firing a handgun at troopers. Highway patrol officers and a University of Kansas Public Safety Officer returned fire, killing Hirsh. Hirsh had been wanted on a murder warrant from the State of Nebraska.
Kansas Statutes Annotated 21-5227(a) authorizes a law enforcement officer to use force likely to cause death or great bodily harm when that officer reasonably believes such force is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to that officer or to another person. Based on the totality of the facts developed in this investigation, the shots fired by the officers were not criminal conduct under Kansas law. Therefore, no criminal charges will be filed against the officers in the shooting of Hirsh.