Inmates set fire, steal guns, fire on officers in failed escape

The nearly two-hour drama ended with both men back in custody in the Washington County Jail

By Joe Robertson
The Kansas City Star

Two escaping inmates from the Marshall County, Kan., Jail allegedly fired shotguns on officers and a civilian and one fled in a stolen pickup truck before both surrendered separately to Marysville police Saturday.

The nearly two-hour drama ended with both men back in custody in the Washington County, Kan., Jail, a pickup truck rolled and damaged, and, despite several gunshots, no injuries, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation reported in a detailed account released Sunday afternoon.

"Fortunately no one was injured during the escape or in the events following the escape," the bureau said.

The two inmates captured in their alleged attempted escape were Jeffrey S. Guenther, 46, and Matson Z. Hatfield, 30. Marysville is about 150 miles northwest of Kansas City, about 12 miles south of the Nebraska state line.

According to the KBI, inmates lit fire in a Marshall County Jail cell around 3:50 p.m., filling the jail with smoke. Investigators said Guenther and Hatfield forced their way through the jail and seized two shotguns and fled the jail into the sheriff's office parking lot.

Police said a county employee's personal pickup truck was stolen at gunpoint and that shots were fired at a Marshall County fire truck. A Marysville police officer fired his gun at Guenther in the stolen pickup truck as it fled.

Meanwhile, Hatfield reportedly led officers on a foot chase. He ran toward a home near the jail and fired shots toward a man in front of the house. Investigators said Hatfield was acquainted with residents of the home.

Hatfield surrendered to a Marysville officer a short time later, the KBI said.

In the stolen pickup truck, Guenther drove north on U.S. 77 across the stateline into Nebraska, pursued by Marysville police. Not far beyond the state line, Guenther lost control of the truck and it rolled. He was taken into custody at the scene.
(c)2017 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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