Kansas Trooper Cleared In Fatal Shooting Near Delphos

Posted 2 years ago

By Associated Press

Investigators have cleared a Kansas Highway Patrol trooper of any wrongdoing in the fatal shooting of a man last year.

Ottawa County Attorney Betty Mick said Thursday that trooper Justin Rohr was justified in shooting 56-year-old Larry Dean Smith of Delphos last October.

The Salina Journal reports a Kansas Bureau of Investigation found that Smith fired first during a confrontation in a heavily wooded area near Delphos.

Smith was scheduled to appear in Saline County District Court the day he was shot. He was facing prison time on 10 drug-related charges. He had been released from prison nine months earlier.

Mick said her office has closed the investigation into the shooting.

 



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  • keepin it real

    We all knew he would be cleared. But if anyone of us was shot at and we shot that person. You better bet we would be found guilty and locked up. A badge doesn’t make a person any better. Were all created equal. BS I say

  • Buddha Belly

    Cops investigating cops find the cops innocent. What a surprise?

    • JudgeDredd

      @keepin it real and Buddha Belly. You weren’t there, so you don’t know. Going by the twisted logic of both of you, I assume then, that we should automatically find every cop involved in a shooting guilty of murder?? Seems to be what you are saying. Now if either of you were involved in the investigation following the shooting, we all would like to hear about it so that we can understand your point of view on this article.

  • Get real

    The loser had a gun & fired first! It’s called suicide – he didn’t want to go back to prison! Quit bashing the cops for doing their job!

    • skatergirl

      The cop fired first, and everyone (all 75 of us) from delphos know this to be a fact. Ya, Larry had some issues, and was pretty scared about what was gonna happen in court, but he was never, i repeat never, suicidal.

      • JudgeDredd

        No you dont “know this to be a fact”. Even if you were in Delphos at the time you didnt SEE IT HAPPEN. You dont know anything about the facts. All you know is what people are chirping about in the cafe and at the water fountain. Grow up and quit spreading gossip.

        • Buddha Belly

          That’s the point JudgeDumbass, I don’t know the facts, and neither do you. But I am certainly not naive enough to think that just because a cop said it that it makes it true.The government and people in authority lie to the people all the time, but you believe everything they say. That’s what makes you – JudgeDumbass

          • JudgeDredd

            Nice. No facts or even a good argument, so resort to name calling. Well done. Have a better day and may Buddha be with you.

      • BBBureau

        I hate cops as much as anyone, but if you’re going to be dumb enough to not appear in court, run, and then have a gun on you (regardless of who shot first), then that’s you’re own funeral. You have to be smarter than the system people…

        • country gurl

          Hey smart one, they said he had court that day, he wasn’t given the opportunity to show up

      • #winning

        I too am from ottowa county and that’s exactly what I heard too from people who knew him.. Everyone knows everyone out here.

    • skatergirl

      why shoot someone who is committing suicide anyway? aren’t the cops supposed to try to stop him, not do it for him?

      • J

        Have you never heard of someone intentionally pointing a gun at police so that the officer would shoot and kill him? It’s called suicide by cop.

    • Wow

      He was quite vocal about the fact that he WAS NOT going back to jail under any circumstances. If the trooper would have known who he was, he probably would have understood that Larry wasn’t any real threat, but the officer was doing exactly as he was trained to do and acted correctly for the situation. If one of the local officers would have found him first, it probably would have ended differently, but only because they would have known better how to deal with him in particular.

  • shawn baker

    that was my family and there was never a gun found so kiss my a** by the way my uncle was shot in the F**king back!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOSER

    • really?

      Hey pot this is kettle…what are you talking about?

  • neosysus

    Does anyone have a link to actual evidence or documents about this shooting? Would be nice if it was not so seemingly investigated in secret. I hope we are being told the truth and it is sad that many of us are suspicious about this type of event.
    Peace.

  • Get real

    All 75 residents of Delphos witnessed this?? His own mother said he had a history of depression & threatened suicide in the past!
    Seems to me that all the cop haters are the ones who’ve been arrested! Get a life & stay out of trouble!

    • skatergirl

      im not a cop hater, never been arrested matter of fact. i have the utmost respect for respectable police officers. but i do know that even if larry had a gun and was suicidal, he never would have shot another human being. not even in his drunkest, most drugged up, most depressed state of mind.

      • country gurl

        Skatergirl you are absolutely right, he would of never harmed anyone!!!!! Seems to me that the KBI and ottawa county really have alot to answer for and I for one hope they realize that he meant something to alot of people and that he had value, he wasn’t just a name, he was and always will be someone to all of us!!!!!!

  • Get real

    The cop hater statement was @ bbbureau. But again, were you there that day to witness it?? Obviously you don’t know him because more than one person heard him fire the gun, the officer was just protecting his own life & that of his fellow officers. Unfortunately Larry isn’t here to tell you what state of mind he was in at the time.

    • skatergirl

      just out of curiosity, did larry wound anybody with that supposed shot? i can assure you, if he shot first, someone would have been hit. you dont grow up in the country and have bad aim!

      • shawn baker

        HELL YEAH GIRL!!!!!!!!!!! I dont think he would miss

    • shawn baker

      get real since u know so much about this case and by the way u talk u was right there with the officers why dont u give ur real name and stop bn a coward! COME OUT OF THE CLOSET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • SalinaNative

        This is such a sad situation. I am sure that the family of Mr. Smith will be struggling to make sense of this for a long time. But if I read the article right, he had gotten out of prison nine months prior to the incident? That means he was breaking the law by being in possession of a firearm. Put that together with the 911 call and the officers that responded were aware of his history before they ever got there. No one likes it when a life is taken…not even the cops.
        That being said…I am so sorry for the family and friends of Mr. Smith.

        • jp’s boo

          ok, but supposedly the officers had no idea who the man was. how could they have known about his history?

        • shawn baker

          No gun was found at the shooting and the county cops knew who he was this is a very small community so you know everyone!

  • Stupid people

    Quit your whining. If you don’t like what goes on in this country move to Mexico, get gunned down in the middle of the street for no reason.

    • shawn baker

      I love my country and im able to speak freely in this great U.S of A!!!!!! Same rights u have

  • Wow

    It was just a tragic situation. None of the officers knew ahead of time who they were dealing with, KHP found him first and of course did not know who he was. If local LEO’s would have found him first and recognized him, they would have know that he wasn’t a real threat, and he was just probably high… but he obviously had no intentions of going back to prison again.

  • really?

    Shawn Baker if that is really you posting…please make your FB page private…it deters people like me from looking and laughing

    • shawn baker

      I never cared about what anyone thinks about me, So I am not afraid to let everyone know its me commenting on this stuff! I’m not the one who is scared of backlash from the public has to hide their identity

      • Thanks Officers

        No one is scared of you lol…you just look like one of them creepy stalker types

        • #winning

          at least he has the balls to post his real name here.. Give him credit for that at least… None of the rest of us do.

        • shawn baker

          Well thats fine with me cause no one needs to fear me, id be the first person to stop and help ur sorry butt if u was broke down on the side of the road :)

  • Get real

    No Shawn Baker I wasn’t there either! But I go by the facts that are given to us. How do you know there wasn’t a gun found and if that’s correct, who fired the gun (besides the cop who was defending himself)? Why would I want to give my name so you backwoods folks could try to retaliate?? Believe me, I actually know quite a bit about the Smith family & other family members w/ different last names!! A bunch of upstanding citizens (sarcastic)!

    • shawn baker

      well if u would give up ur name im sure we could find dirt on ur family too! But if you like u can say somethin bout me too if it makes u feel better? I would love to hear all the true facts of the gossip ring

  • Delphos Citizen

    Wow…really! How about you people realize how many lives he put in danger down at the Delphos Coop that day. No one knew who it was otherwise, I am sure his nephew who works down at Coop would have called family in and they would have just gotten him instead he was acting all crazy and scarring the hell outta everyone down there because they didn’t know who it was. He told his daughter multiple times that he would never go back to jail that he could never kill himself but he would go another way…which is suicide by cop. Just think this Trooper has to deal with this his entire life and Larry wanted this to happen. Don’t get me wrong I feel bad for his family but seriously he wanted this because he was looking at jail time.

  • family

    We did see reports also autopsy reports he was shot n back troopers and sheriff also r lying about statements from those there noone ever approached him or tried to make contact and noone ever saw him carrying nething also if read ehat was published the officers statenents r totally different one says he stood up the other says hevwas lying on his belly

  • No secrets here.

    Those saying this investigation is secret and that a gun was not found on him are simply wrong. Read the detailed article from the Salina Journal on salina.com. They did open records request. They made this news article by getting the actual investigation records, people. And it says right there, a shotgun and spent shell were found next to the guy, and more shells were in his pockets. Thanks for our troopers and other law enforcement keeping everyone safe.

    • neosysus

      Thanks for the link. First detailed report I have seen since it happened. Too bad for all involved.

  • No secrets here.

    okay, greatful for law enforcement except for that sheriff in Ottawa County… had to finish his program first?! Before responding to a 911 call??! And the other day: Putting dangerous prison felons in a county jail just to take credit for making more money? Sure seems like from all the stuff lately that he tends to put his own interests ahead of keeping people safe…

    • ks kid

      Keith Coleman is an excellant sheriff. For those of us who aren’t to ignorant to inform ourselves it is quite obvious. I am sorry that Larry Smith died, but that was not Keith Colemans fault, nor was it the fault of any other officers that respoded. In regard to the prisoners escaping… it could have happened anywhere. The Sheriff’s dept responded quickly and in an appropriate manner. The jail was built to hold contract prisoners all of the citizens in this county knew that. As far as “not knowing that it was holding KDOC prisoners”, freaking inform yourselves, that information has been published in the Minneapolis paper weekly.

      • Jeff

        If you think that Coleman is an excellent sheriff you also must think that the moon is made of cheese. He is nothing but a pompous arrogant a$$. He hides behind his badge and thinks he is above the law. He will not take any responsibilty for the prison escape, he will find others to blame.

        • Anonymous

          hes really good at spending tax payer dollars on new cop cars I think he has three of he uses at his place between the sheriff cars and trucks he uses hes quite an expense

      • imoved

        I get kind of jealous whenever I see Coleman anymore.. it’s obvious he’s got waaaaay better dope than the rest of us.

  • Abileneite

    He got he wanted. As for officers not finding a gun; I ain’t buying that schtick

  • Get real

    There were reports of civilians seeing him carrying something & acting suspicious – that’s why the cops were called. Now you’re saying these people along w/ the cops are lying? Get a grip family!!!

    • Family

      You would do the same thing if it was your family. You’re right. Why don’t you ‘get real’

  • family

    I’m sry u must have been there , talked with those ppl and seen the reports ……. Yea didnt think so well guess what someone in our family was and we have seen reports so why don’t you “get real”!

    • shawn baker

      Family get ahold of me on fb if u can

    • Thanks Officers

      your family looks like a bunch of nuts so not much for us to take stock in.

      • i know the family

        you know why don,t you guys show some respect for these people it was there dad or uncle or brother that died

      • country gurl

        Have you met any of his family?? Maybe if you did you would know that he actually has several upstanding family members and any of them would drop everything to help a stranger and ask nothing in return

  • Hotrod

    Mr. Smith made the choice to end his life not the Trooper. If he would have put the gun down he would be here today in prison put he elected to take the easy way out. So how can you blame the Tropper for protecting the public. He has to deale with this every day wondering what he could have done different. Put your self in the Troppers shoes and see what you would have done not knowing or even knowing Mr. Smith acting crazy with a gun. Would you gamble with your life. You have a split second if you make the wrong decision your not going home to you family. As for the Ottawa county Sheriff Department even if they knew him and came upon the same situation hopefully they would have taken the same action as the Trooper did. When someone has a gun and acting crazy you can’t take any chances you never know what they are really thinking or going to do. Yes it is sad for the Trooper and Mr. Smith’s Family

    • Jeff

      If it is true that Mr. Smith was shot in the back that takes away the “split second decision” defense that you claim.

      • No secrets here.

        Not when there were officers all around him in a “heavily wooded area” – none of them could see through those trees. With troopers calling out to him to put it down and come out. That’s what the now released-to-public records prove. Knowing officers were in several directions, the trooper was protecting other officers, not just himself. Thank god none of them was hit.

        • country gurl

          Have you been to Delphos??? There are no heavily wooden areas and especially not where this happened.

  • Hotrod

    Just because you grow up in the country don’t mean you can shoot. I know a lot of people that grew up in the country that can’t shoot very well.

    • shawn baker

      Very true hotrod it also goes with somethin else like just because ur a cop doesnt mean they are hardworking an honest people like the ex-Ottawa county officer Chuck Moore !!!!! LMAO

      • Wow

        You’re an idiot, Shawn. Chuck was a city cop. Redneck…

        • karli

          city or county, chuck moore was a bad cop. all he did was eat at the gas station and flirt with the dispatchers! And what about that wife of his! First he had a woman who looked like his older brother, now hes got one that looks like she ate his older brother! Rachal is so fat and ugly now compared to high school! I bet Brian is glad he escaped that!

  • stopitalready

    You must be running for Sheriff of Ottawa County, been arrested by Sheriff Coleman, or fired by him to speak so poorly of him. As for an arrogant a$$ hiding behind his badge – I don’t see it! You’re the one hiding behind a fake name! Maybe you should run for Sheriff if you think he’s so bad. I bet you wouldn’t have reacted so quickly to a jail break. You’d have had to clean your underwear out before you could’ve made one phone call!

    • shawn baker

      To whom are u refering to stopitalready?

    • Jeff

      None of the above. I just have seen him in action. So when Barney Fife on steroids sits down to go to the bathroom which side of the toilet does he move your head to get your nose out of the way. Or does he just leave it there?

  • paybacks

    I’m just glad to see old lady Betty Mick get off her lazy ass and do something! Opening her mouth without knowing the facts? Hell! She doesn’t even bring half cases to court! Total waste of space!

    • karli

      Betty is an angel, and you could burn in hell for talking bad about her

  • Hotrod

    Jeff Any time a weapon is involved the split second rule is a factor. You must not must not have much experince in shooting weapons. You can be moving forward and turn half way around point and shoot a firearm and that’s why you would be shot in the back. Or he could have shot a round and turned to run. I ‘m not sure what he did. But the Trooper was cleared of any wrong doing. Because there was a shot fired at him. If you don’t think you can turn half way around and shoot and hit your target go to the range and try it for yourself it works with practice. Or ask anyone that has been in the military/lawenforcement or has done a lot of shooting.

    • Jeff

      Yes hotrod it is possible to shoot while you’re moving away. It is also posssible to shoot something and have it ricochet behind you. Whats your point? The man is dead and if its true he was shot in the back. You nor I was there. You can try to support all you want but is speculation on both parts.

  • Hotrod

    Yes Shawn I agree they are some people that shouldn’t be in lawn enforcement. I know this much they are more criminals than bad cops.

  • Delphos Citizen

    I for one would just like to Thank the Trooper who was protecting the people of Delphos that day. Had he not been there who knows what he would have done. As for Larry being shot in the buttocks that could happen anytime. If you are surrounded by cops and are being told to put your other hand up but won’t because there is something in your hand and then you fire a shot. Your liable to get shot in the buttocks. Maybe if Larry would have just stayed home for his mom to pick him up and take him to court instead of acting like a crazy ass he woudln’t have gotten shot. Oh but wait he said he would never go back to prison. Why don’t you all think about all the peoples lives he put in danger that day….Yes I hate to see that a father son grandpa, unecle, ect had to die but get real he put so many lives in danger that day including my fajmilies.

  • k

    Dude that got killed was a pos meth head

  • justthefacts

    Read the article in the Salina Journal that states this wasn’t the first time he’s had a shotgun on him when confronted by the cops. Fortunately this time there wasn’t a 12 hour standoff w/ him. It appears this time he decided to do suicide by cop.

  • daughter

    Just to clear some thing up, i’m his daughter and he was NEVER in prison….

  • jstsayin

    Lets just think of the alternative…..an unknown man is supposedly armed with a gun and wandering around in the woods near your community. What if it wasn’t a local, and he shot and killed an innocent child because the officer chose not to fire his weapon. Justin made a choice, and he made that choice to protect the people around that were in potential danger. If he had not made the choice to fire his weapon, and that armed man hurt you or your family, would you still be singing the same tune? I think not…..you would be running him into the ground for not shooting him when he had the chance. Justin Rohr is a good cop…..he made the right choice.

  • Jack Daniels

    Good job Trooper Rohr!!! Smith was a loser and known drug dealer in our peaceful community. Good riddance I say!!

    • friend

      from this i know you have never met the man

      • you think?

        LOL FRIEND.. from this i know you never hung out with him–good for you. congrats on meeting him, but obviously you didn’t KNOW him.

        • karli

          we all knew he was a tweeker, but thats the point. we all knew who he was and we still loved him. and we could all recognize him from the back!

  • Jack Daniels

    I met him……nuttin but a loser and crackhead!!!! Hope he likes “DOPER HELL”!! LMAO!!!

  • daughter

    Peaceful community, get real. Jack Daniels go to hell.

    • Jack Daniels

      Oh my…taking this personal. Well just take another hit of that crack your old man left you. That should put you in La – La land….LMFAO again!!!

      • country gurl

        Jack Daniels, you obviously have never met his daughters, one is a hard working single mother and the other is married to a ECF employee, sounds like maybe you have taken one too many hits of crack in your day

        • karli

          and he didnt like crack smart one. it was meth-totally not the same. google it before you make yourself look stupid again

  • amazed

    Who needs Jerry Springer when we’ve got Salina Post. The people here make that seem like a classy show.

  • Family

    @Judgewhatever. It seems to me you’re being fairly hypocritical with most of your comments. With the exception of the people that were there, nobody knows the facts, and nobody ever will. As I am family to Larry Dean, it’d be nice to see your comments stop because clearly you have no idea what he was like or what he was doing or what he was going through. Obviously, every family has issues and has someone going through a hard time. Stop making Larry Dean sound like a loser.

  • friend

    i did know him and for quite some time…he was no loser…so he had problems we all do ..oh and i feel honored to have known him ..he was talented and compassionate and i think the paper should have shown both sides of him

    • T.L.R.

      GOD BLESS The KANSAS STATE TROOPERS! They helped me change my life for the better. You just have to, ” WALK THE WALK AND WALK IT TALL!”