19-year-old Kenton Kobza was shot and killed by an Ellis County Deputy following a high speed chase on Tuesday
Reports said that Kobza complied with the initial police stop
During the stop, Kobza allegedly sped off and led officers on a pursuit
After Kobza lost control of his vehicle, he allegedly reached for a deputy’s gun during an altercation that followed
It has not even been three months since Hays Police Officer Sgt. Brandon Hauptman shot and killed unarmed special needs man Joey Weber. On Tuesday, there was another fatal police shooting in Ellis County.
Ellis County Attorney Thomas Drees released the following statement.
The driver complied with the traffic stop sometime before 3:40 Tuesday morning, then unexpectedly fled north, hitting speeds of more than 70 mph in town and then more than 100 mph on U.S. 183 outside of Hays. The deputy and Hays police continued to pursue the vehicle, which went into the ditch at one point. The driver lost control as he tried to pass another vehicle and ended up in a field.
19-year-old Kenton Kobza
At the time of the incident, the suspect’s name was not released. However, 19-year-old Kenton Kobza’s family confirmed that he was the one shot by an Ellis County deputy.
In a statement released by the Kansas Bureau of Investigations, it was claimed that after Kobza had ended up in the field, he approached the deputy, at which point an altercation occurred. During the altercation, the deputy claims that Kobza was shot when he tried to reach for the deputy’s gun.
Kansas Bureau of Investigation
The KBI will now do a separate investigation, just as they did in the August 18 shooting of Weber. Despite being handicapped and unarmed, Weber was shot once while Hauptman was on top of him.
Weber allegedly reached for Hauptman’s gun, and the shooting was declared justified as Hauptman claimed he feared for his life.
The handling of the shooting of Weber set Ellis County up for scrutiny with any similar situations to follow. Drees did not even officially release Weber’s name until over a month after the shooting, even though his family had confirmed it.
Haunting similarities between the two shootings
The shooting of Kobza has some haunting similarities as the Weber shooting. Both victims were said to flee from the officer after complying with the stop. Both victims were also said to get in an altercation with an officer, and both were shot after allegedly reaching for an officer’s gun.
The similarities between the two shootings are almost uncanny. Except there is one major difference, Kobza was not special needs.
Kobza came to Fort Hays to run track
Kobza was a 2016 graduate of Aquinas, where he was an athletic star. The 19-year-old was attending Fort Hays State and planned on being a part of their track team. He was a student that had a long athletic record.
So what made Kobza feel the need to flee on Tuesday afternoon? That is a question that may not ever be answered, as Ellis County proved just months ago that they prefer little to no transparency in regards to an officer shooting in their area.