WASHINGTON (WDAF) — Work is underway to honor an Olathe School Resource Officer for his bravery and heroism.
U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall and Olathe Police Chief Mike Butaud nominated Olathe East High School School Resource Officer Erik Clark for the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor.
The medal recognizes the extraordinary acts of heroism and bravery of public safety officers.
The National Association of School Resource Officers already honored Clark with its version of the National Valor Award.
They say Clark displayed those qualities during a shooting inside Olathe East High School in March.
Assistant Principal Kaleb Stoppel called Clark to his office after hearing a student had a gun in the building. At one point, prosecutors said the student pulled the gun out of his backpack and started shooting.
Clark and Stoppel were both shot and injured.
“On that tragic day when the unthinkable happened, the fate of lives would be placed in his hand, a fate dependent on his bravery. After being struck by gunfire four times, he acted to stop the threat, gave instructions to render aid to others, and applied his own tourniquet prior to being transported to the hospital with serious injuries,” Butaud said.
Officers said Clark’s actions likely kept other students and staff safe from harm.
“Without question, Officer Clark acted swiftly and bravely to protect students and teachers at Olathe East High School. His heroic actions saved lives, and there is no doubt that he deserves to be recognized with the Public Safety Medal of Valor,” Marshall said. “I thank Officer Clark for his valiant service and continue to pray for healing and comfort for everyone in the Olathe East family.”
Stoppel and Clark were treated for their injuries and released from the hospital hours after the shooting.
Jaylon Elmore, the former East student charged in the case, suffered more serious injuries. He was hospitalized for weeks before being transferred to jail.
Elmore is held on a $1 million bond. A Johnson County judge scheduled a preliminary hearing in his capital murder case for Dec. 9.