The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is analyzing evidence from the Nov. 13 officer involved shooting in Pratt and hope to complete their investigation within 30 days of the incident.
Evidence in the officer involved shooting incident in Pratt on Nov. 13 is being analyzed by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. Melissa Underwood, communications director KBI, said the goal of the KBI is to complete their investigation and review the records within 30 days of the incident.
However, some key components to the investigation, such as forensic analysis of evidence, will often take longer to complete.
The KBI only conducts the criminal investigation. At the conclusion of the investigation, the KBI presents an extensive file documenting the investigation findings to the prosecutor of jurisdiction for their review and determination.
The prosecutor of jurisdiction in this case is Pratt County Attorney Tracey Beverlin. Sometimes in cases like this, if there is a conflict of interest, the prosecutor may appoint a special prosecutor or ask the Attorney General’s Office to make prosecutorial decisions. However, in this case, there is no indication of this happening and Beverlin is expected to make the prosecutorial decisions, Underwood said.
Once the prosecutor gets the information, it will take some time to thoroughly review the findings before they make a determination if anyone involved, the subject or the officers, acted criminally, Underwood said.
The KBI does not determine if the officers involved violated any agency policy or violated any ethics. This internal or administrative investigation usually follows KBI investigation, Underwood said.
The KBI was called in on this case that took place Nov. 13 in Pratt. Police were called to the 500 block of North Main to the report of a man waving a gun on Main Street. The officers approached the man and tried to communicate with him. The man, Rene Prieto, then allegedly fired a shot at the officers who returned fire. Prieto was injured and officers called EMS to the scene, according to a KBI report.
The KBI was called in to investigate the incident. The KBI will usually send seven specially trained agents and crime scene experts to an officer involved shooting incident. The KBI acts as an independent fact-finder in the investigation and does not determine if the use of force was legally justified, Underwood said.
A Crime Scene Response Team was also sent to Pratt. The KBI investigation is very thorough and takes a lot of time. The agents ensure the integrity of the scene and all the physical evidence. The conduct an exhaustive search of the scene and collect all evidence. They obtain any relevant video or audio recordings of the incident.
If it is warranted, the Crime Scene Response Team will reconstruct the scene using advanced techniques such as blood stain analysis, shooting and bullet trajectory reconstruction, laser 3D mapping and other advanced techniques, Underwood said.
Agents will also interview each officer and everyone involved in the event including all pertinent witnesses, family members, first responders and medical personnel. The evidence is then submitted for forensic laboratory examination. All pertinent records including medical, dispatch, training, phone or other communication will be obtained. All investigative activities will be documented in detailed reports, Underwood said.