GUNFIRE EXCHANGED; SUSPECT IN CUSTODY FOLLOWING STANDOFF IN DOWNS
Shortly before 11:00 a.m. Monday, March 21, 2011, law enforcement officers were attempting to locate a Downs, Kan. resident, Matthew D. Thille, 20-years-old, for an incident that occurred at the Jewell County Courthouse. At approximately 11:31 a.m., a Mitchell County deputy spotted Thille traveling westbound on US-24, at which point a chase ensued. The suspect led law enforcement to his residence at 814 Division in Downs, and fired shots at law enforcement officers in the area. The Kansas Highway Patrol’s Special Response Team responded to the scene and attempted to open lines of communication with the suspect.
After several hours of attempted communication with Thille, the Kansas Highway Patrol’s Special Response Team approached the house. Gunfire was exchanged and Thille was wounded before being taken into custody. Thille was transported by ambulance for treatment and the incident scene has been turned over to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. No officers were injured during the pursuit or gunfire.
Any further questions will be handled by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, as they are now the lead agency in the investigation.