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Archive for Monday, October 30, 2006

Services planned for sheriff, shooter

October 30, 2006

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— A northwest Kansas sheriff and the mentally ill man who killed him will be buried this week.

Sheridan County Sheriff James Johnson, 54, died Thursday afternoon when Steven Paul Reitcheck, 35, of rural Hoxie, pulled a pistol from under his coat and fired several shots. A deputy in the office returned fire and killed Reitcheck.

Kansas Bureau of Investigation Deputy Director Kyle Smith has said initial reports indicate the two had been talking about Reitcheck voluntarily committing himself to a mental health institution.

The visitation for Johnson, sheriff since 1988, is from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. today at Mickey-Leopold Funeral Home. The funeral is at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Hoxie High School auditorium, and burial will follow at Hoxie Cemetery.

Visitation for Reitcheck was from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday at the at Mickey-Leopold Funeral Home.

Services are scheduled for 3 p.m. today at St. Frances Catholic Church in Hoxie, and burial will follow at St. Frances Catholic Cemetery.

Hoxie Mayor Lori Horesky said a meeting was planned for Sunday afternoon to prepare for the flood of people expected to attend the sheriff's funeral.

"He was one of my best friends," she said of Johnson. "It's just a really bad situation with the two families. My heart goes out to them."

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