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KBI investigates officer-involved shooting in Harper County

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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.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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