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Standoff in Downs

It started in Mankato yesterday morning following a court appearance there and it ended in a shoot out with the Kansas Highway Patrol’s Special Response Team just before 7:30 last night.

21-year old Matthew Thille of Downs was the focus of a massive law enforcement effort as he holed himself up in his home located at 814 Division Street in the west-central part of Downs.

Thille started his day in Mankato in Jewell County District Court. He was there for a scheduled trial on charges of felony burglary and misdemeanor theft.

Instead of a trial though, Thille pled no contest to the charges and was ordered by District Judge Kim Cudney to take a urine analysis test before she would release him on his current bond.

Sometime after the Judge’s order, Thille fled the Court House, stole a red pickup and headed for his home in Downs.

J.L. Reidel – a spokesperson for the Kansas Highway Patrol met with reporters at about 8:30 last night in an area near Lakeside High School just outside the crime scene perimeter.

He said a chase ensued when a Mitchell County Sheriff’s Deputy spotted Thille in the stolen vehicle in western Mitchell County and gave chase closely following him all the way to Thille’s home in Downs.

Thille exited the pickup and then barricaded himself in the house – that was about 11:05-AM. It would be nearly 8-hours later when the siege ended in an assault on the house.

Trooper Reidel narrates the sequence of events from there.

3-21-11 Riedel Cut

No word on the seriousness of Thille’s wounds. Two Osborne County ambulances were headed east out of Downs on U.S. Highway 24 at about 8:00-PM but no word on what facility Thille was taken to.

Trooper Reidel said any additional information concerning Thille’s condition would have to come from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

A good portion of the area surrounding Thille’s home was still roped off from the public as the KBI processes the crime scene.
3-21-11 Riedel Cut

About Mike Schrant

Mike is one of those guys who has spent nearly a lifetime trying to figure out what he wants to do when he grows up. He has split time as a broadcaster and educator having first worked in radio in the early 1970’s while attending junior college. The two careers are directly connected because many of the 25 years as an educator were spent teaching broadcast journalism at the high school and college levels. Mike is married and has three adult children (no grandchildren yet) and enjoys sports, debating politics, gardening, landscaping-hauling rocks, and swapping stories with the "good old boys".