Brown County shooting incident leaves Whiting man dead

A July 17 shooting incident on the Kickapoo Reservation in southern Brown County claimed the life of a Whiting man and has a Horton man facing a first-degree murder charge.

Brown County Sheriff John D. Merchant said Monday that William Blacksmith, 35, of Whiting, died from multiple gunshot wounds in the incident.

Stryder Keo, 32, was charged with murder in the first degree and aggravated battery, according to Brown County District Court records. He is currently being held in the Brown County Jail in Hiawatha on $1 million bond.

Sheriff Merchant said his office was notified of a possible shooting at 1300 Firefly Rd. on the Kickapoo reservation at about 7:20 a.m. Sunday. Several law enforcement agencies, including Jackson County K9 officers, responded to the scene, where Blacksmith was found unresponsive with several gunshot wounds.

According to witness statements taken at the time of the initial investigation, Blacksmith and Keo had been involved in a “verbal altercation” in which Blacksmith told Keo to leave the area. Keo then pulled out a handgun and shot Blacksmith several times, then left the scene, it was reported.

Keo was later arrested “without incident” at his home elsewhere on the reservation a short time later and was booked into the Brown County Jail, Sheriff Merchant said.

The incident remains under investigation by the Brown County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the Brown County Attorney’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, it was reported.

The Holton Recorder

109 W. Fourth St.
Holton, KS 66436
Phone: 785-364-3141

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