The latest on the Jewell County Sheriff’s Deputies who were shot in Mankato and the suspect who was chased into Ottawa County. Below that is a statement released about 4 p.m. by Jewell County Sheriff Don Jacobs.
Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) agents are investigating the shooting of two Jewell County sheriff’s deputies which occurred Tuesday morning at the Sheriff’s Office in Mankato, Kan.
Preliminary information indicates that on Aug. 28 at approximately 7:52 a.m., a male subject, identified as Jason L. Whitson, 40, of Mankato, entered the Sheriff’s Office. He walked up to the dispatch desk and requested to talk to a deputy. As a sheriff’s deputy approached to speak with him, Whitson fired multiple times through a door that led into the dispatch room. Two deputies were injured during the shooting. No law enforcement officers discharged their firearms.
Whitson then fled the Sheriff’s Office. Since he was recognized by personnel at the Sheriff’s Office, law enforcement immediately began to locate him and the vehicle they assumed he would be driving.
At approximately 8:45 a.m., a Kansas Highway Patrol (KHP) trooper spotted Whitson’s vehicle and pursued him Eastbound on US-24 Highway. When the vehicle was just south of Minneapolis, Kan., an adult female and five minor children were allowed to exit. Whitson then continued onto US-81 Highway where law enforcement used a maneuver that forced the vehicle to stop.
Once the vehicle was stopped, KHP Troopers approached it and found him suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. No law enforcement officers at this scene discharged their firearms.
EMS responded and transported Whitson to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Both Sheriff’s Deputies are expected to recover from their injuries. Deputy Stuart Vance was treated for a gunshot wound to his neck and released from the hospital in Mankato yesterday. Deputy, and former sheriff, Kim Ost was listed in stable condition after being flown to Salina for surgery to repair a gunshot wound to his torso.
This investigation is ongoing. No further information will be released at this time.
Sheriff Don Jacobs released the following statement about 4p.m. today.
The KBI is investigating an incident which started at the Jewell County Sheriff’s Office earlier this morning.
A suspect, identified as Jason Lee Whitson, walked into the Jewell Co. Law Enforcement Center and shot one deputy in the neck and another in the torso. It had been reported initially by regional news outlets that the deputies injuries were not considered life-threatening. However, an updated report to WIBW in Topeka from the KBI says the deputies are in critical condition.
According to the KBI, the Kansas Highway Patrol initially responded to the incident around 7:49 a.m. It is yet unclear what time the initial shooting took place. At 8:46 a.m., troopers spotted the vehicle the suspect was driving eastbound on Hwy. 24 near Glasco. The driver refused to stop, but troopers continued to follow him at speeds of about 70 mph.
At 9:09 a.m., Troopers say Whitson stopped near Minneapolis on Hwy. 81 where an adult female and several juvenile children exited the vehicle. Whitson then continued southbound on Hwy. 81.
At 9:11 a.m., KHP performed a tactical vehicle intervention, known as a PIT maneuver, on the van. The vehicle then spun off the road.
Troopers found Whitson in the van with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was in critical when taken to a Salina Hospital. There has been no official update on his condition after initial reports were that Whitson was deceased. It is unclear at this time what Whitson’s condition is, and we have no further updates on the condition of the Jewell County Deputies.
The Jewell County Sheriff’s Office told KD-Country 94 News earlier this morning that they would have a media release made available later today.
We will bring you further information as we receive it.