Man wanted in drive-by shooting arrested at Hays motel
By MIKE CORN
By MIKE CORN
A man wanted in connection with a recent drive-by shooting in Wichita surrendered to authorities without incident Wednesday at a Hays motel.
The man's room, the motel and his car had been surrounded by members of the heavily armed Hays Special Situations and Response Team and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation's High Risk Warrant team.
Several occupants of the motel were evacuated from areas surrounding the man's room, according to Hays Police Chief Don Scheibler.
After getting everyone into position and contacting the room by telephone, 29-year-old Jose G. Jimenez eventually agreed to surrender.
A female occupant and six children also in the room were taken into custody but have since been released, Scheibler said.
Jimenez remains in the Ellis County Jail awaiting someone from the Wichita Police Department or the Kansas Department of Corrections to pick him up.
The entire ordeal first started at about 10:45 p.m. Tuesday when HPD received word from Wichita police that Jimenez might be in Hays. In addition to being wanted for questioning in connection with the drive-by shooting, Jimenez had also violated his parole.
Within about an hour, Scheibler said, HPD located the vehicle Jimenez was believed to be driving at a motel on north Vine.
Because of the possible threat the man presented -- he had been described as 6 feet, 7 inches tall and weighing 345 pounds -- Scheibler called the SSRT and asked for help from the KBI's tactical team.
Over the course of the next several hours, the HPD's team set in place a plan to evacuate rooms near the one occupied by Jimenez and set up personnel to keep watch on the room and his vehicle.
As soon as the KBI team arrived, as many as 20 to 30 motel occupants were escorted from their rooms and contact was made with the room Jimenez was staying in.
"Initially, the occupant denied he was in the room," Scheibler said. "Eventually, they admitted he was in the room."
A short time later, Jimenez exited the room and surrendered to police. That was at about 6:17 a.m. Wednesday.
No firearms were located in the room, Scheibler said.
But Jimenez were accompanied by a woman and six children.
The woman was taken into custody but ultimately released, after being offered whatever assistance she might need to return to Wichita.
Scheibler said the decision to call out the Hays and KBI teams was made because of the "potential threat" represented by Jiminez.
"The potential threat to the community was so high, we thought it was important to get some additional help," he said of the reason for calling in the KBI team.
More than 20 officers were on the scene of the motel for most of the night until Jimenez was taken into custody.
"The potential threat was so high, we needed to slow things down," Scheibler said of evacuating much of the motel and eventually making the arrest. "To get him in custody without anyone getting hurt."
Scheibler said he didn't know why Jimenez might have been in Hays, although he said it's possible he'd been here since sometime last week.