David Michael Zehring: Mental health history

WICHITA, Kansas – Wichita Police are still investigating an officer-involved shooting that happened Thursday morning in west Wichita, resulting in the death of 30-year-old suspect David Michael Zehring.

KSN News received an anonymous tip from a viewer, describing the depth of Zehring’s mental illness.

KSN spoke with Butler County Sheriff Kelly Herzet regarding two previous charges against Zehring. KSN also obtained the court records for these cases.

According to Sheriff Herzet, in 2012 deputies  seized “over 20 or more semi-automatic handguns, several large caliber assault rifles, a .50-caliber gun, and between 50,000 and 75,000 rounds of ammunition.” Deputies obtained a search warrant after Zehring reportedly broke his mother’s neck.

Zehring was arrested and taken to the Butler Co. Jail on a domestic violence – aggravated battery charge. Following the execution of a search warrant, charges were added, including possession of marijuana.

While serving jail time, Zehring was taken to Larned State Hospital on two separate occasions to undergo psychiatric evaluations. There was a time he was found “incompetent to stand trial.” However, he stayed at Larned the allowed time, only 90 days, and was then sent back to Butler Co. Jail.

“He was unstable. He did need help,” Sheriff Herzet said.

In September 2013, the judge in the case ordered time served when Zehring pleaded guilty to domestic battery, a misdemeanor charge.

Sheriff Herzet told KSN that Zehring’s mental condition was due to a past head surgery or an injury he possibly received in a vehicle accident.

KSN reached out to the judge, the Butler Co. Attorney, as well as Larned State Hospital for comment, but did not receive calls back.

Mental Health Resources:

National Alliance on Mental Health
World Health Organization
The Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas
The Association of Community Mental Health Centers of Kansas Inc.

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