Police: Man charged in Norton fatal shooting

Bobby J Tallent (Norton Police Department Photo)

NORTON, Kansas – A suspect in a fatal shooting in Norton made his first court appearance Sunday night.

He has been identified as 37-year-old Bobby J. Tallent of Norton. He appeared before the District Court Magistrate Sunday night for a determination of probable cause for his arrest and detention. Tallent is being held in the Norton County Jail on the following charges: First-degree murder, 3 counts of attempted first-degree murder, 2 counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, burglary, theft, and felony flee & elude. His bond is currently set at $1,000,000.

Bobby J Talent (Norton Police Dept photo)
Bobby J Talent (Norton Police Dept photo)

At approximately 9:13 p.m. on Friday, Norton police responded to a reported man with a gun in the 300 block of Ward Avenue. A resident advised the dispatcher that there was a man walking in the area carrying a firearm.

Upon arrival, the responding officer began to search the area known as Pool Park near N. West Street & W. Wilton Street for the individual, and as he searched the area, the officer was fired upon.

Multiple rounds struck the patrol unit, but the officer was able to make his way to cover and was not injured. As additional officers responded to the area, other shots were fired as officers began to try and isolate the shooter.

As officers swept the park, they discovered that 47-year-old Norton resident, Joseph A. Sweet, had been shot and killed in the park. Officers continued to search for the gunman and additional 911 calls about the man lead police to U.S. Highway 36 near the west edge of Norton where the suspect was spotted walking along the highway. He was confronted by Norton police officers and the suspect fired multiple shots at these officers. An officer’s vehicle was struck several times, but the officer was uninjured.

The suspect fled towards a subdivision in northwest Norton as Norton police, the Norton County Sheriff’s Office, and the Kansas Highway Patrol responded to the new scene along and north of Highway 36. As police continued to search, the suspect stole a vehicle from a residence and fled westbound at speeds over 100 mph. Troopers from the Kansas Highway Patrol pursued the vehicle into Decatur County, and the individual who was driving the vehicle was eventually taken into custody approximately five miles north of Oberlin.

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is assisting the Norton Police Department with the investigation, and all crime scenes have been processed.

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