Kansas City Man Charged with Attempted Murder of Rescuers

Kansas City Man Charged with Attempted Murder of Rescuers

News Feb 26, 2013

Feb. 26--A man rescued from a burning Olathe home by firefighters earlier this month has been charged with setting the fire and attempting to kill the emergency workers who probably saved his life.

Johnson County prosecutors charged 58-year-old William J. Outhet Jr. with arson and attempted first-degree murder in connection with the Feb. 1 incident in the 1400 block of North Martway Drive.

"Clearly from the charges, his intent was to harm first responders," said Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe.

Howe said he could not discuss details of the investigation. Spokesmen for the Olathe police and fire departments, which conducted a joint investigation, also said they could not comment.

But according to documents filed in Johnson County District Court, Outhet allegedly "staged" firearms around the residence and fired shots from a shotgun "towards the perpetration of the crime of premeditated first-degree murder."

The intended victims are listed in court documents as "emergency personnel."

No emergency personnel were injured in the incident, officials said.

Outhet lived at the residence with a roommate who owned the property. The arson charge does not state how the fire was set. Outhet, who was the only person injured, remained in a hospital Monday, according to statements made Monday afternoon in court.

He did not attend Monday's first court appearance. His bond was set at $1 million, and his next court appearance was scheduled for March 7.

Among conditions of his bond, Outhet was ordered to "follow mental health recommendations, including taking of medication as prescribed," online court records show.

Continue Reading

According to media reports at the time of the blaze, firefighters pulled Outhet from the burning residence and performed CPR to revive him before he was rushed to a hospital.

Howe said Monday that he did not know Outhet's current condition. The Johnson County Public Defender's Office was appointed at Monday's court hearing to represent him, but its office was closed for the day when a reporter called seeking comment Monday afternoon.

Shannon Laber, who said she was Outhet's former girlfriend, and who went to the fire scene on Feb. 1, said he was "doing better" physically and was recovering. But she declined to discuss details of the situation.

"The family is not making any comment at this time because of the charges being filed," she said.

Nine years ago, a similar incident in south Kansas City left a paramedic gravely injured by gunfire.

On Feb. 23, 2004, paramedic Mary Seymour was hit by gunfire after responding to a burning house in the 9400 block of Grandview Road. As police officers laid down covering fire, firefighters pulled Seymour to safety.

The resident of the burning home, who had been involved in a dispute with city officials, was found dead in the home's wreckage along with his girlfriend.

More recently, on Christmas Eve, a 62-year-old man in upstate New York started a house fire and then fatally shot two responding firefighters. Two other firefighters and a police officer were wounded.

The gunman then fatally shot himself, officials said.

In the Olathe case, Howe said it was fortunate that no first responders were injured.

"It could have been really bad," he said.

To reach Tony Rizzo, call 816-234-4435 or send email to trizzo@kcstar.com.



Copyright 2013 - The Kansas City Star

The Kansas City Star
Tony Rizzo
Avaya plans to honor the Texas Commission as it sees the adoption of Kari’s Law build across the country, a law which would mandate any company or organization with multi-line telephone systems to provide direct-dial access to 9-1-1.
The company achieves a milestone of its first U.S. regulatory filing for a medical device which would aid in hemostasis and wound care.
Senators will have to vote on multiple amendments on the health care repeal bill.
County commissioners decided to write off over $5 million in uncollectible ambulance bills owed by residents, an amount that has been building since the 1940s.
The amount of deaths caused by substance abuse and mental health issues in the first half of 2017 have surpassed the total deaths of 2016.

The raging wildfires have forced 10,000 residents to evacuate their homes. 

For the first time in my EMS career, I froze.
The two agencies compete for ticket votes from blood donors to raise awareness for the increased need for blood during the summer.
Los Angeles firefighters and law enforcement are "resource rich" in nuclear threat preparation, like specialized trucks with advanced sensors for radiation levels, says the emergency operations commander.

Lee County, Fla. EMS will soon have its own substation in North Fort Myers. Chiefs for the North Fort Myers Fire District and Lee County EMS said it was time for a change because of overcrowding. 

EMS professionals are all taught to look for a MedicAlert bracelet or a necklace. This simple step has become much more complex in the information age, and we may not realize for what and where to look.
The drill involving over 200 people put multiple first responder agencies to the test.
The training was based on lessons learned from the Columbine shooting and taught school employees safety and security measures.
One third of the state's record-high 376 overdose deaths that occurred last year were caused by prescribed painkillers.
The training will be focused on prescribing buprenorphine, the drug used to assist patients in quitting their opiate addiction and relieve withdrawal symptoms.