HARPER COUNTY – The Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) is investigating an officer-involved shooting that occurred Friday evening at an apartment complex in Harper, Kansas.
The Harper Police Department contacted the KBI at approximately 4:15 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 3 to request assistance investigating the shooting. KBI agents and the Crime Scene Response Team (CSRT) responded to the scene.
At approximately 3:40 p.m., a citizen called police to report a man who was observed damaging property at the apartment complex at 1123 Jefferson St. When an officer from the Harper Police Department arrived he attempted to make contact with the subject who was standing in the doorway of his apartment. As the officer approached the man, later identified as Kenneth E. Smith, 61, of Harper, Smith tried to slam the door on the officer. The officer caught the door and pushed his way inside the apartment.
Preliminary information indicates that as the officer entered he observed that Smith was armed with a knife. A physical struggle occurred. During the altercation the officer sprayed pepper spray at Smith. The struggle continued until Smith advanced toward the officer with the knife. The officer fired one shot which struck Smith in the right arm.
The officer attempted to create distance from Smith by backing out of the apartment. Smith then locked the apartment door. Officers from the Harper Police Department and deputies from the Harper County Sheriff’s Office responded and forced entry into the apartment. They engaged in another short struggle with Smith while taking him into custody.
EMS responded and transported Smith to a local hospital for treatment of the non-life threatening gunshot wound. He was then transferred to Wesley Medical Center in Wichita where he underwent surgery. Smith is currently in good and stable condition. No law enforcement officers were injured during this incident.
The KBI will conduct a thorough and independent investigation into this shooting. Once completed the findings will be turned over to the Harper County Attorney for review. This investigation is ongoing. No further information will be released at this time.