Victims, shooter identified in Newton triple homicide

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Credit: Wendy Nugent/Newton Now Credit: Wendy Nugent/Newton Now

Harvey County Attorney David Yoder says three men fatally shot in Newton were targeted by the gunman, who was shot and killed after pointing a gun at officers. 

Multiple law enforcement agencies arrived at a home at 2111 North Spencer at around 12:30 a.m. Thursday to find the accused shooter, 33-year-old David Montano, outside the home. 

When authorities attempted to apprehend Montano, a foot chase ensued. 

"The suspect then pointed a firearm at law enforcement officers, and so a law enforcement officer engaged him and shot him fatally," Yoder said. 

Inside the home, authorities found the bodies of 34-year-old Michael Lemons, 36-year-old Nelton Dean Lemons and 36-year-old Jason Stubby. Each had been shot. 

"We believe that this was a specifically targeted attack by the suspect on these three individuals," Yoder said, adding that there are no outstanding suspects and the community is not in danger. 

Yoder said two of the victims were brothers and the third was a friend. All were acquainted with the suspect, who was believed to be temporarily residing at the home with one of the victims. 

Authorities continue to interview multiple witnesses who were at the scene. A motive was not announced. 

The KBI is assisting in the investigation.

Montano was out on bond awaiting trial in federal court. He's one of eight people who allegedly got prescriptions from Wichita Dr. Steven Henson, and was charged with unlawfully distributing prescription drugs. Montano was charged on January 12, 2016. 

Thursday morning's triple homicide marks the latest of several large-scale killings in Harvey County. Three dead bodies were found in a driveway west of Hesston last October. And Saturday will mark the first anniversary of the Excel Industries violence in Hesston, which ended with four people dead and 14 injured.

"It is immensely draining on every level, emotionally, physically," Yoder said. "Draining financial resources of the community, law enforcement, my office, volunteers, assistants, the chaplain's unit. It has been extremely draining. That's the best word that I can use to describe this year for our community."

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Authorities say four men are dead, including a shooting suspect, after a triple homicide early Thursday morning in Newton.

Officers found three bodies at around 12:30 a.m. in a home at 2111 North Spencer, which was, at one time, know as "The Meadowlark Center." Witnesses led officers to the suspect, who was allegedly armed with a shotgun and confronted officers.

"He came from behind the house, had a confrontation with officers and he was shot," said Harvey County Sheriff Chad Gay. 

A Newton officer shot the suspect, identified as David Montano, who was pronounced dead at Newton Medical Center. 

Harvey County Attorney David Yoder identified the victims as 34-year-old Michael Lemons, 36-year-old Nelton Dean Lemons and Jason Stubby. 

Sheriff Gay said there were at least six people in the house, but officers are still determining who lives there. Gay believes drugs were involved.

"We do believe that this was a targeted incident, and do not feel that there is any additional threat to the community stemming from this incident," Sheriff Gay said in a news release. "However, this is an ongoing investigation and additional information is limited but will be reported as it becomes available."

Three women are being questioned, and a fourth woman has turned herself in, Gay said. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation will be in Newton to look into the circumstances of the shooting.

Neighbors say the home used to be a drug rehabilitation facility, but is now a private home. 

"The last couple of weeks we've seen some cars going back and forth, in and out, said Byron Ediger, a neighbor. "So there's been a little activity there....some lights on, but I haven't really talked to anybody up there." 

Kansas Department of Corrections records show Nelton Lemons had four prior burglary convictions, and Michael Lemons had priors of drug possession and theft. The KDOC website had no records for Stubby and Montano. 

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