Downs Standoff Ends, Suspect Shot

By: Alicia Myers Email
By: Alicia Myers Email

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

UPDATE:

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is investigating a shooting that occurred Monday evening in Downs, Osborne County, Kansas. According to Robert E. Blecha, Director of the KBI, “the agency’s Crime Scene Response Team continues their work at the location of the shooting and additional special agents are actively investigating leads in the case.”

After a plea hearing in Jewell County District Court, Matthew Thille escaped from law enforcement while being escorted back to the jail. Thille stole a vehicle and fled to his home in Downs.

After arriving at his home, Thille shot at officers, striking several patrol cars. After a standoff, Thille was shot by members of the Kansas Highway Patrol’s Special Response Team. There were no law enforcement officers injured in the exchange. “The KBI has assigned 10 personnel from the Field Investigations Division and the Crime Scene Response Team to work the case. Our agents are actively preparing charges against Matthew Thille to be presented to the prosecutor”, Director Blecha stated. Thille is currently in stable condition in a Wichita hospital.

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Shortly before 11:00 a.m. yesterday, March 21, 2011, law enforcement officers were attempting to locate a Downs, Kan. resident, Matthew D. Thille, 20-years-old, for an incident that occurred at the Jewell County Courthouse. At approximately 11:31 a.m., a Mitchell County deputy spotted Thille traveling westbound on US-24, at which point a chase ensued. The suspect led law enforcement to his residence at 814 Division in Downs, and fired shots at law enforcement officers in the area. The Kansas Highway Patrol’s Special Response Team responded to the scene and attempted to open lines of communication with the suspect.

After several hours of attempted communication with Thille, the Kansas Highway Patrol’s Special Response Team approached the house. Gunfire was exchanged and Thille was wounded before being taken into custody. Thille was transported by ambulance for treatment and the incident scene has been turned over to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. No officers were injured during the pursuit or gunfire.

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is now the lead agency in the investigation.

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Monday, March 21, 2011
Update

A tense standoff is over in the town of Downs in north central Kansas.

A man stole a vehicle after a court appearance in Jewell County, then led officers on a chase through Mitchell County before ending up in the Osborne County town of Downs.

Around 8 p.m., the standoff with 21-year-old Matthew D. Thille ended with shots fired as the Kansas Highway Patrol's Special Response Team stormed his residence. Several shots were fired by the suspects, officers said. When they returned shots the suspect was wounded.

During the course of several hours of negotiations, officers said, the suspect made demands via telephone that they were not able to meet.

Thille was taken to a nearby hospital by ambulance. Information regarding his condition has not yet been released.

Monday, March 21, 2011
Update

Our KAKE News team at the scene of the standoff in Downs, Kansas is reporting shots were fired as the Kansas Highway Patrol's Special Response Team storms the suspect's residence.

The suspect is now out of the house, and an ambulance has left the scene.

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Monday, March 21, 2011

According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, a standoff is underway in Downs, Kansas in Osborne County.

Shortly before 11 o'clock this morning, an incident occurred at the Jewell County Courthouse which caused area law enforcement officers to start looking for 21-year-old Matthew Thille of Downs, Kansas.

Officers said Thille had a court appearance that "did not go his way," and that he then allegedly stole a vehicle. A short time later, a Mitchell County Deputy spotted Thille traveling westbound on US-24, at which point a chase ensued.

The suspect led law enforcement to his residence in Downs and has fired shots at Law Enforcement in the area. Currently, the Kansas Highway Patrol’s Special Response Team is attempting to open lines of communication with the suspect.

The KHP is reporting that no one has been injured.

Morgan Avenue, the main street through downtown Downs, has been blocked off for several blocks during the standoff.


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