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Kansas congressional delegation recognizes Olathe East staff injured in school shooting 

Aaron Torres | Kansas City Star

The Kansas congressional delegation honored two Olathe East staff members who were injured last week in a school shooting.

U.S. Sens. Jerry Moran and Roger Marshall, along with Reps. Sharice Davids, Tracey Mann and Jake LaTurner, introduced the resolution recognizing school resource officer Erik Clark and assistant principal and athletic director Kaleb Stoppel. The resolution commends the two for their actions protecting the school’s students and staff. It also recognizes their years of service.

“The heroic actions and quick response of Officer Clark and Dr. Stoppel saved lives at Olathe East High School last Friday,” Moran said in a statement. “The outpouring of support for the Olathe East community has been inspiring, and this resolution is one more way in which we can honor the actions they took to protect others and thank them for the love, care and sacrifice they showed towards their students and fellow educators.”

Jaylon Elmore, 18, has been charged with attempted capital murder in the shooting. He is accused of exchanging gunfire with Clark. Stoppel was also injured in the shooting that occurred shortly after 10:30 a.m. on March 4.

Clark and Stoppel were released from the hospital later that day. Elmore remains hospitalized in critical condition, a hospital spokeswoman said Friday.

Elmore did not appear at the hearing. His next court date is scheduled for March 17. His bond has been set at $1 million. Olathe East High School Resource Officer Erik Clark was one of three people injured in last week’s shooting. He was honored by the Kansas Congressional Delegation.

Clark and Stoppel were praised by the community following the shooting. Clark has been an officer for 15 years, including seven as a school resource officer, Olathe police said in a tweet posted at the start of the school year.

Stoppel is known as a well-liked administrator, an advocate for both athletics and the arts at the school. He has worked as Olathe East’s athletic director and assistant principal since 2018, but this is his last year at the school. Wichita Public Schools hired him to be the district athletic director, and he was scheduled to start in July, according to a release from the Wichita school district.

“This was a traumatic event for our community, and my heart is with every parent, student, educator, and Kansan as we help each other move forward. I know I am joined by many of those community members in my gratitude for the actions of Officer Erik Clark and assistant principal Kaleb Stoppel, and we are all hoping for their full recovery,” Davids said in a statement. “I’m glad to join my Kansas colleagues to recognize and commend their bravery.”