July 16, 2024

No charges will be filed in Ness County officer involved shooting

NESS COUNTY, Kan.–The Ness County Attorney says that a deputy who fatally shot a man in August outside a home in Ramson is immune from prosecution under Kansas law.

On Friday, September 1, the Kansas Bureau of Investigations presented its findings to the Ness County Attorney’s Office following a formal investigation into an Officer Involved Shooting occurring the morning of August 8, according to a statement from Ness County Attorney Jacob Gayer.

At approximately 8:36 a.m. August 8, a call was routed, in the E911 system, to Trego County dispatch. The caller informed Trego County dispatchers he was in Ransom Kansas and was wanting to self-harm.

Trego County advised Ness County Dispatch. Ness County Sheriff, Brandon Mitchell, was able to establish a line of communication with the then unknown caller which resulted in Deputies locating the individual at a private residence in the city of Ransom, Kansas.

Deputies of the Ness County Sheriff’s Office responded to the area and were able to establish a perimeter around the home.

At approximately 9:49 a.m. a man later identified as 46-year-old Jesse L. Nicholls of Ransom, exited the residence in possession of a black semiautomatic handgun. Sheriff Mitchell, initially, was able to obtain compliance from Nicholls who placed the handgun on the ground but still within his reach.

Negotiations to surrender to law enforcement continued by Sheriff Mitchell but ultimately the subject returned to the handgun, retrieving the firearm, and cycling a round into the chamber of the weapon.

Nicholls charged towards Deputies before discharging, towards officers, a single round. A member of the Ness County Sheriff’s Office returned fire striking Nicholls who dropped the firearm.

Medical personnel and members of the Sheriff’s Office began immediate life saving measures ultimately proving unsuccessful.  Nicholls died from injuries sustained in the incident.

The KBI was requested to conduct an investigation into the Officer Involved Shooting.

“After reviewing the reports from the KBI, the body worn cameras and taking into consideration the information available to the deputy at the time, Ness County Attorney Jacob Gayer ruled, in his professional opinion, the deputy was entitled under current Kansas law to use deadly force for the purposes of self-defense. First, the deputy had a sincere and honest belief that their life was in danger and that it was necessary to use deadly force to defend themself. Secondly, a reasonable person in the deputy’s circumstances could have reasonably perceived the use of deadly force was necessary. Charges are not appropriate against the deputy in the death of Jesse L. Nicholls, on August 8.”