CHETOPA — Labette County Attorney Stephen Jones is reviewing reports from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation relating to the Aug. 12 shooting of an armed citizen by a Chetopa police officer during a search warrant.
The KBI completed its investigation and provided reports to Jones late last week. Jones said he does not yet have all reports from the KBI. When he gets the last piece or pieces of information he will conduct his review and determine if the shooting was justified or if further action is required.
Scott A. Souders, 38, died early Aug. 12 in his home when he allegedly confronted Chetopa police with a rifle while they served a search warrant.
A Chetopa police officer, who has not been publicly named, fired three bullets that killed Souders.
Chetopa police served the warrant at 12:14 a.m. Aug. 12 and notified the county’s dispatch center at 12:18 a.m. that shots had been fired. The KBI, which investigates officer-involved shootings in Kansas, was called two minutes later. Officers and deputies secured the scene while waiting on the KBI.
Chetopa police were searching for evidence of marijuana cultivation on Souders’ property, which includes his home, a 2,000-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bath brick structure at 1110 Cherry St.
Souders’ home was built in 2009, according to the Labette County appraiser’s website. Souders was an electrical engineer.
The KBI said Chetopa police had received information indicating there may be possible drug activity at Souders’ residence. Further investigation led them to seek a search warrant. After knocking and announcing their presence several times, three Chetopa officers entered the home. They moved through the house in an attempt to determine if anyone was inside. As the first officer inside the house made his way down the hallway, he encountered Souders armed with the rifle and fired three shots, the KBI said in a prepared statement.
All officers quickly left the house and took cover. The Labette County Sheriff’s Department responded. Once deputies were outside the home, officers called for the occupants of the house to come out. Soon after, a 25-year-old woman came out.
Police again entered the home and found Souders suffering from gunshot wounds. A rifle was discovered near him. EMS responded. Souders was pronounced dead at his home.
No law enforcement officers were injured.