Kansas sheriff shot, killed in his office; deputy kills suspected shooter

Thursday, October 26th 2006, 9:31 pm
By: News On 6

HOXIE, Kan. (AP) -- A county sheriff was shot and killed in his office Thursday by a 36-year-old man he was interviewing, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation said. The suspect was then fatally shot by a deputy.

Sheridan County Sheriff James L. Johnson was talking to Steven Paul Reitcheck about a possible commitment to a mental health facility when Reitcheck pulled a handgun and fired, KBI deputy director Kyle Smith said. The shooting occurred around 1:20 p.m. CDT.

Johnson, 54, was elected sheriff in 1988 after serving as a Hoxie police officer. He was married and had five adult children.

Several law enforcement agencies are investigating. It was unclear Thursday what led to Reitcheck's conversation with Johnson about mental health.

Sheriff Allan Webb of neighboring Gove County was sworn in as interim sheriff of rural Sheridan County.

Hoxie is about 300 miles west of Kansas City.