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Questions remain about what led to Hays fatal officer-involved shooting

(KWCH)
Published: Aug. 18, 2016 at 9:10 PM CDT
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FactFinder 12 continues to ask questions about what lead to a deadly officer-involved shooting last week in Hays. Police say they shot and killed a driver who wasn't obeying their commands.

Not much information has been released about what happened in the shooting that killed 36-year-old Joseph Weber, but friends, who went to school with him in Oakley, say he was autistic and was a gentle person. They say he kept to himself, but was liked by almost everyone.

Now, they're frustrated there isn't more information about what happened. A couple of the main questions still to be answered: Did Weber have a weapon? and, Did Weber make a threat against an officer?

Weber's former classmates and friends started a Facebook group, "Justice for Joey" to hopefully get more answers.

UPDATE--(Sunday): Eyewitness News confirms the identity of the man killed in an Aug. 18 officer-involved shooting in Hays as 36-year-old Joseph Weber, of Hays. An obituary for Weber says he was born in Oakley and graduated from Oakley High School in 1999.

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UPDATE (Friday)

FactFinder 12 is working to get answers about an officer-involved shooting in Hays.

The Ellis County Attorney Tom Drees says a Hays police officer shot and killed a 36-year-old man Thursday afternoon, but little more information has been released.

Eyewitness News has asked several questions: What happened? Did the man who died threaten police? Did he have a weapon? Was there body or dash cam footage?

But on Friday, Eyewitness News those questions remained answered.

Those who knew the man killed in Thursday's shooting say he had a disability. They say he spent much of his time at a home on Timber Drive in Hays. Those who operate the home say it is a place where those with intellectual disabilities gather to spend time with one another and learn social and life skills.

It was on Thursday, in front of the home, where a Hays police officer shot and killed the man.

Drees said officers chased the man and he did not follow their commands. He would not say if the man had a weapon or if he threatened police.

We still do not know if a body or dash camera recorded the incident.

"The investigation, as all investigations do, they take their own pace, they move at their own speed and we certainly want to get it right," Drees said.

Drees has not released the man's name, but those who knew him say he lives in Hays and is originally from Oakley.

A former teacher in Oakley said he remembers the man as being kind and quiet. He said back in high school, the man was intelligent and a perfectionist. He could not believe something the shooting happened.

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One man was killed in a Thursday afternoon officer-involved shooting in Hays.

The Ellis County attorney says a Hays officer stopped a vehicle for a traffic stop at 2:33 p.m in the 2700 block of Plaza Avenue. The vehicle's driver did not obey commands and the officer requested backup, the county attorney says.

As an additional officer responded, the stopped vehicle fled from the scene with officers in pursuit for several minutes. The Ellis County attorney says the vehicle was stopped in the 2300 block of Timber Driver in Hays. The county attorney says the driver got out of the vehicle and verbal commands from an officer were not followed.

The Ellis County attorney says the incident escalated until a Hays police officer fired one shot. The county attorney says the driver of the vehicle pursued by officers was shot and died from the wound. The driver was described as a 36-year-old white male.

The name of the man killed in the officer-involved shooting is being withheld pending notification of his family.

The shooting is being investigated by the Ellis County Sheriff's Office and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.