Fairway man in jail following shooting near Highlands, bullet struck elementary school window

Jay Senter - March 4, 2019 8:08 am
A window above the building’s signage that was struck by a bullet was replaced over the weekend.

A 26-year-old Fairway man will be arraigned in Johnson County District Court this afternoon following his arrest Friday after pointing a gun at police responding to a report of shots fired in the area near Highlands Elementary.

Dylan Christopher Ruffin will be arraigned in Johnson County District Court this afternoon.

Dylan Christopher Ruffin sustained injury from gunfire after he exited the home on the corner of 62nd Street and Roe Avenue, directly across the street from the school, and pointed a handgun at a group of police officers. Officers instructed Ruffin to drop the weapon, and began shooting at him after Ruffin failed to comply. Highlands students, parents, and staff were in the immediate vicinity of the gunfire, which took place just as school was letting out for the day.

Ruffin was arrested and taken to an area hospital for treatment. He was then released to the custody of law enforcement officers and booked into the Johnson County Adult Detention Center.

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The Johnson County Multi-Jurisdictional Officer Involved Shooting Investigation Team is looking into the incident.

Bullet struck Highlands Elementary building

Highlands staff outside monitoring kids on the playground heard what they believed to be gunfire around 1:20 p.m. Friday afternoon, and immediately escorted all of the children inside. Shawnee Mission School District police and police from surrounding cities then responded in search of a potential shooter. The building was placed on lockdown.

There was little activity of note in the area for the subsequent hour, though, and with the situation appearing to be stable, school officials made the decision to proceed with dismissal as scheduled at 3:10 p.m.

However, at about that time, police received 911 disconnects from the residence on the corner across from the school. When officers responded directly to that residence, they made contact with the homeowner, who told them that there was an armed male inside. The homeowner was escorted from the building by police, who then attempted to make contact with the male inside. Moments later, police say, Ruffin came through the front door with his gun drawn.

He faces three charges of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and one charge of criminal discharge of a firearm at a structure.

Shawnee Mission School District Chief Communications Officer David Smith confirmed over the weekend that at least one bullet had struck the building. Crews replaced a window pane above the flashing near the school name signage facing Roe. Smith said no students or staff were in the portion of the building where that bullet struck when the initial gunfire took place. Smith said it’s possible that an additional bullet struck the building, but that has yet to be confirmed by investigators.

Smith said investigators believe the gunfire that struck Highlands was related to the initial report of gunfire that took place around 1:20 p.m., and was not the result of the altercation between Ruffin and the police while dismissal was under way.

Ruffin faced previous charges for drug possession, criminal damage

Ruffin has faced previous charges in Johnson County District court over the past several years.

In 2011, he pleaded no contest to a charge of criminal damage. In 2012 he pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor drug possession charges. And in 2014 he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of obstructing the legal process.

His arraignment is schedule for 1:30 p.m. Monday.

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