A man shot two Jewell County sheriff's deputies, critically wounding at least one, Tuesday morning before shooting himself, authorities said.
Before turning the gun on himself, the shooter led law enforcement officers on a pursuit through north-central Kansas.
The deputies were shot following a disturbance in the sheriff's office, Kansas Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Melissa Underwood said. Both are expected to recover, but the gunman was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Jason L. Whitson, 40, of Mankato entered the officer in Mankato, a town of 869 residents in north-central Kansas, just after 7:50 a.m. and asked to speak to a deputy. As a deputy approached the dispatch desk, Whitson fired multiple times through a door that led into the dispatch room, Underwood said.
Two deputies were hit, and no law enforcement discharged their firearms.
According to the Jewell County Sheriff's Office, one deputy was airlifted from the scene and is scheduled to undergo surgery at a hospital in Salina. His condition was unknown at noon Tuesday. Another deputy was released from the hospital Tuesday afternoon.
The second deputy was treated at a local hospital and is expected to be released later Tuesday.
After firing the shots, Whitson drove off. He was recognized by personnel in the office, Underwood said, and deputies immediately began to peruse him.
At 8:46 a.m. a Kansas Highway Patrol trooper spotted the man's vehicle eastbound on US-24 Highway near Glasco, KHP spokeswoman Andrea Nolte said. The car continued east at about 70 mph until shortly before 9:10 a.m. when he stopped in the middle of the road just south of Minneapolis. An adult woman and five minor children exited the van.
He then turned south onto US.-81 highway.
About two minutes later a trooper performed a tactical vehicle intervention and the man lost control of the vehicle.
Officers found the man with a self-inflicted gunshot wound and took him into custody, Underwood said. He was transported to a nearby hospital. The KBI later confirmed his death.
No officers discharged their weapon at the scene, she said.
An ambulance transported Whitson to the hospital where was pronounced dead.
Gov. Jeff Colyer tweeted about the incident saying he was praying for a full recovery for the two Jewell County deputies shot in the line of duty earlier this morning."
"We appreciate the service rendered by all law enforcement officers, and thank them for their bravery," he said.
The Jewell County Courthouse will remain closed Tuesday.
Both deputies are expected to recover. Their identifies have not been released.
Additional details weren't immediately available.