Deputy justified in fatal law enforcement shooting

WINFIELD, Kansas – A south-central Kansas prosecutor said the fatal shooting of a 22-year-old man by a sheriff’s deputy during a traffic stop was justified.

On Friday, Cowley County Attorney Chris Smith released his decision on Tayler Rock.

Rock, of Arkansas City, was shot several times May 31 after the deputy pulled him over on U.S. 166 near Dexter for a traffic violation.

“The deputy entered the vehicle to try to get a force lock on Tayler Rock’s arm with the baton. The deputy’s intent was gain control of the situation by using pain compliance and to get Tayler Rock out of the vehicle. While the deputy was inside the vehicle with the baton against Tayler Rock, Rock grabbed the deputy’s left wrist with his right hand and accelerated the vehicle,” said Chris Smith, Cowley County Attorney.

Rock tried to drive away, dragging the deputy through a ditch and running him over.

“As the deputy fell backwards, he reported that he knew he was going to die. The deputy stated that he had no doubt in his mind that Tayler Rock was going to kill him. Since Tayler Rock was not stopping, not listening, and had been resistive from the start, the deputy knew he had to fire his service weapon in order to save his life,” added Smith.

Rock was pronounced dead at a hospital. Rock’s 9-month-old child was in the car but was not injured. The deputy was treated for injuries to his lower legs.

The family and their attorney say they’re not done with the case, and they hope to have an independent investigation take place with Kansas Attorney General or the US Attorney General.

“Unbelievable, their explanation of what happened is totally unbelievable.”

Related Document:
Cowley County Tayler Rock Shooting Closing Report


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