KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Prosecutors will not file charges against a Kansas City, Kansas, officer who shot and killed a former detective.
The Wyandotte County District Attorney’s Office confirmed Wednesday that after a multi-agency investigation, the officer who shot Lionel Womack in November 2021 will not be charged.
Womack was a former KCK police detective who worked for the department until 2020. That same year, he also filed a federal lawsuit after a sheriff’s deputy in southern Kansas ran over him during a traffic stop and chase.
Last November, police received reports of a man standing in the middle of the street looking at the sky and jumping in front of traffic near North 57th Street and Interstate 70.
The department said as soon as officers arrived Womack started running at them. He eventually was able to get into the driver’s seat of one of the officers’ patrol cars. One of the officers struggled with Womack as he tried to remove him from the car.
“As he started running to the car, they tried to verbally kind of calm him down and deescalate the situation to no avail,” KCK Police Chief Karl Oakman said at the time.
They fought over the officer’s gun, KCK police said, and Womack was able to get it away from the officer. Investigators said Womack pointed the gun at the other officer, who shot him.
“Those officers had no choice. This whole incident took place in 26 seconds, 26 seconds,” Oakman previously said.
Womack was pronounced dead at the hospital.
In late 2020, Womack also filed a civil rights lawsuit, alleging a Kiowa County sheriff’s deputy intentionally drove over him after he fled a traffic stop.
The dashcam video captured a horrific scene: the Kansas sheriff’s deputy in a patrol truck mowing down the Black man who was running, shirtless, across a field in the darkness. Deputies then approach with weapons drawn.
Womack argued at the time of filing his lawsuit that he hadn’t been speeding nor was he under the influence of anything. But the Kansas Highway Patrol said it clocked Womack going over 100 mph in 55 mph zone.
Still, Womack’s attorneys argued it was wrong for authorities to use potential deadly force while arresting him that night.
But his children previously told FOX4 none of the issues he’s battled in the past few years changed their memory of a loving dad. They said their dad shouldn’t be defined by or remembered for the way he died, but by the way he lived.