Fatal Officer-Involved Shooting Under Investigation by KBI

By Trish Svoboda

A fatal shooting involving an officer, which took place on U.S. Highway 160 in Harper County on Tuesday morning, is currently under investigation by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI).

The Harper County Sheriff’s Office called upon the KBI for assistance in the incident, which involved one of their sheriff’s deputies, at approximately 7:15 a.m. KBI agents along with the Crime Scene Response Team were dispatched to carry out the investigation.

At around 6:55 a.m., a driver dialed 911 to report a stationary vehicle on the westbound lane of U.S. Highway 160. A deputy from the Harper County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to the location, approximately a mile west of Attica, Kansas. Upon arrival, the deputy found a tan 2006 Toyota Prius halted in the middle of the highway and proceeded to approach the vehicle to provide help.

Initial reports suggest that upon approaching the car, the deputy noticed a woman inside, with a knife in one hand and scissors in the other. Shortly after, an officer from the Attica Police Department joined him at the scene. Both the deputy and the officer retreated from the vehicle and requested additional support. They repeatedly instructed the woman, later identified as 54-year-old Cheryl R. Gaines from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, to drop her weapons and step out of the vehicle.

Authorities were about 100 yards from the vehicle when Gaines complied with the request to exit the vehicle but refused to let go of her weapons. She then advanced towards the deputy and officer with the knife and scissors. The officer stumbled and fell. Gaines, still armed, managed to reach the fallen officer. In response, the Harper County sheriff’s deputy discharged three rounds in Gaines’ direction, hitting her.

Gaines was pronounced dead at the scene. No injuries were sustained by law enforcement involved in the incident.

The KBI will carry out an investigation. When finished, the results will be submitted to the Harper County Attorney for examination. This is an ongoing investigation.

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