Authorities in Ellis County still silent about officer-involved shooting

Investigators on the scene of an officer-involved shooting in Hays on Thursday, August 18, 2016. (Photo Courtesy: Hays Post)

HAYS, Kan. (KSNW) – Questions still linger about an officer-involved shooting that occurred in Hays over a week ago.

The victim was 36-year-old Joseph Weber, who’s family says was autistic. Weber was shot and killed by a Hays Police officer during a traffic stop.

KSN continues to look for answers about why the officer fired on the man.

It’s been seven days since Weber was killed, and the Ellis County Attorney and law enforcement agencies, including the Hays Police Department, the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation have not released the name of the victim nor any information about the case. KSN was able to identify him through family members.

The KBI is now the lead agency in the investigation into the shooting, and Ellis County Attorney Thomas Drees tells KSN the case is being handled as quickly as possible. But he says there’s no information to release at this time, and that it could be weeks before the public will know more details about the shooting.  KSN asked Drees for confirmation that Weber was autistic, as the family said, but he says no more information is being released at this time.

“Until we know what happened, until we know whether there is or isn’t a crime in this situation, it’s not appropriate to release to name of either the officer or the decedent,” Drees said.

Drees said he doesn’t have a specific time when authorities will be releasing the name of the victim.

Thursday, a candlelight vigil was scheduled in honor of Weber.

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