Ellis County Attorney’s Office
On Nov. 8, at approximately 3 a.m., a motorist was stopped by Hays Police officers in the 1800 block of Vine Street (U.S. 183) in Hays for driving left of center.
The driver initially complied with the traffic stop, then unexpectedly fled north. The vehicle reached speeds in excess of 70 mph in the city of Hays (35 mph zone) on North Vine Street.
The vehicle continued to drive erratic and at a high rate of speed as it left Hays northbound on U.S. 183. An Ellis County Sheriff’s Deputy attempted to intercept the vehicle at the Interstate 70/U.S. 183 intersection. The sheriff’s deputy and the Hays Police officers continued to pursue the vehicle northbound on U.S. 183.
The vehicle continued to drive erratic, and at one point left the roadway entering the west ditch (driving left of center). The speed of the vehicle was checked by radar to be in excess of 100 mph. The vehicle continued northbound on U.S. 183 when it attempted to pass a northbound vehicle. The fleeing driver lost control of the vehicle and entered the west ditch. The vehicle came to rest in a field approximately 1/3 of a mile south of the Ellis County/Rooks County line.
The driver of the vehicle got out of the vehicle. The driver then approached the Ellis County Sheriff’s Deputy. The driver was ordered to the ground. The driver initially complied with the Officer’s command and lied on the ground. The driver then stood up in a confrontational manner, refused the officer’s commands and attacked the officer. The driver was tased twice but continued to attack the officer. The driver knocked the officer to the ground.
The officer pulled his weapon and ordered the driver to get back. The driver again attacked the Officer and attempted to take the officer’s gun from the officer. The physical confrontation continued to occur on the ground. As the driver continued trying to take the officers’ gun from the officer, the officer fired multiple shots striking the driver. The driver died at the scene. The Ellis County Sheriff’s Deputy was treated at Hays Medical Center for injuries he received during the altercation and has been released.
Ellis County Sheriff’s Office immediately contacted Ellis County Coroner Dr. Lyle Noordhoek and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and asked them to investigate the fatality officer involved shooting. The incident remains under investigation by the Coroner and the KBI. At this time, the decedent has not been positivity identified and, therefore, no next of kin notification has occurred.
The deputy, pursuant to Ellis County Sheriff’s Department policy, has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the investigation.
The names of the decedent and the Deputy involved will not be released while the investigation is pending because it is an ongoing criminal investigation [K.S.A. 45-221(a)(10)] and because it would be a disclosure of a personal nature that constitutes a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy [K.S.A. 45-221(a)(30)]. The Coroner and the KBI ask for the public’s patience while the investigation continues.
Check Hays Post for more information as details become available.