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No charges to be filed in Rush County officer-involved shooting

(KWCH)
Published: Apr. 16, 2020 at 11:32 AM CDT
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The Kansas Bureau of Investigation says no charges will be filed against the Ness County sheriff’s deputy who shot and injured a suspect in a January officer-involved shooting on Highway 96 in Rush County.

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After reviewing KBI investigative reports, Rush County Attorney Tony Rues determined the use of deadly force was justified, and he will not file charges against the sheriff’s deputy.

In January, 42-year-old Timothy W. Kellebrew led deputies on a chase after allegedly robbing a dollar store in Dighton. The KBI says Kellebrew got out of a pickup with a handgun and tried stealing another truck. That's when the deputy fired multiple shots at him.

According to Rues, the officer involved shooting was reviewed pursuant to the statutory authority of K.S.A. 20-5222 use of force; defense of person; no duty to retreat and Kansas case law. Pursuant to K.S.A. 21-5222 (b) a person is justified in the use of deadly force if such person reasonably believes that such use of deadly force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to such person or a third person (emphasis added). The key words being reasonably believes. This is reinforced by case law in State v. McCullough, 293 Kan. 970, 975, 270 P. 3d 1142 (2012) and clarified in Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386 (1989).

Rues summarized his decision saying, “Considering the provided legal standard, the following facts are legally pertinent. The deputy was in pursuit of Timothy “Timmy” W. Kellebrew who was suspected of committing an aggravated robbery with a firearm of a Dollar General store. Kellebrew's actions required law enforcement to engage in a dangerous high-speed pursuit of him. This not only endangered law enforcement but also other civilians using the highway. Kellebrew also wielded the firearm in attempting to gain access to the vehicle that he had forced off the highway. It is at that instance that the deputy fired his service weapon to prevent the same. The use of deadly force was justified. Therefore, no charges against the deputy will be filed.”

Kellebrew was charged in Lane County district court for his alleged involvement in the robbery at the Dollar General Store in Dighton. Charges are pending for suspected crimes that occurred in Rush County.