Highlands Elementary area shooting suspect Dylan Ruffin has pleaded guilty after shooting a gun inside his home near the school and later pointing it at police officers.
After a brief appearance before Judge Neil Foth on Tuesday, Ruffin, a 28-year-old Fairway resident, pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated assault against a law enforcement officer and one count of discharging a gun inside an occupied dwelling.
Ruffin’s sentencing is set for July 16. He faces up to 10 years in prison for the charges.
By pleading guilty, Ruffin waived his right to a jury trial. He remains in custody at the Johnson County Adult Detention Center.
Shooting near school
Ruffin’s guilty plea to felony charges relates to a shooting incident March 1, 2019, at his Fairway home at the corner of Roe Avenue and 62nd Street, across Roe from Highlands Elementary.
Students and staff reported hearing gunshots, and the window of a classroom was later found broken with a bullet hole. The school went on lockdown, and multiple police officers from Mission and Fairway were sent to the area in response.
The lockdown was lifted about two hours later because district officials and police determined the situation was stable. However, as children were being dismissed from the school, Ruffin came out of the house and aimed a handgun at two Mission police officers and a Fairway police officer who were still on the scene.
Ruffin’s gun was later found to be not loaded, although it contained a 30-round extended magazine.
Officers shot at and wounded Ruffin. He was treated and taken to jail.
Ruffin’s mother later told officers that her son had told her that he wanted to get in a gunfight with police so they could kill him. Ruffin also admitted to shooting a gun inside his bedroom in the direction of the elementary school. Officers found 27 bullet holes in the bedroom.
Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe found that the officers’ use of deadly force was justified.
In his report in court, Jason Covington with the district attorney’s office said Ruffin later told officers that he wished the police had killed him.
In Kansas, the maximum sentence for aggravated assault against a law enforcement officer — a felony — is between 17 and 46 months in the custody. Likewise, the maximum sentence for shooting a gun inside one’s home — another felony — is between 11 and 34 months.
Dylan Ruffin pleaded not guilty to a third count of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer.