By JONATHAN ZWEYGARDT
The driver killed in an officer-involved shooting north of Hays on Tuesday has been identified as an 18-year-old Fort Hays State University student-athlete from Nebraska.
The Lincoln Journal Star reported Wednesday that Kenton Kobza, David City, Neb., was identified as the person killed in an officer-involved shooting following a high-speed chase Tuesday morning north of Hays. Kobza was a student at Fort Hays State University.
The Lincoln Journal Star reported Superintendent Rev. Sean Timmerman of Aquinas High School in David City said Kobza’s family confirmed he was shot by an Ellis County Sheriff’s deputy Tuesday.
Ellis County Attorney Tom Drees would not confirm the victim’s identity Thursday and said, after speaking with the family, they did not want the victim’s name made public.
Officers with the Hays Police Department attempted to stop a vehicle for driving left of center on north Vine at approximately 3 a.m. Nov. 8. The driver, according to the Ellis County Attorney’s Office, initially complied with the traffic stop before fleeing at a high-rate of speed north of U.S. 183. The driver was clocked by radar at more than 100 mph and was driving erratic, according to reports.
During the chase a sheriff’s deputy attempted to intercept the vehicle northbound on U.S. 183. The vehicle continued northbound and when it attempted to pass a northbound vehicle the driver lost control and entered a ditch and came to rest in a field approximately 1/3 of a mile south of the Ellis County/Rooks County line.
The county attorney’s office said the driver exited the vehicle and approached the sheriff’s deputy. The driver was ordered to the ground and initially complied but then got up and attacked the officer knocking him to the ground, according to officials. The officer then tased the driver twice, but the driver continued attacking the officer.
The driver allegedly attempted to take the deputy’s gun and while the two wrestled on the ground the deputy fire 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 and was released.
Drees said the coroner and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation are investigating the incident.
FHSU said in a statement it is unable to confirm the identity of the victim until the coroner’s report is released.