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Shooting victim identified
Murder suspect in custody; KBI to assist with investigation
Nicholas A. Pethel 2019
Nicholas A. Pethel

Law enforcement officers are investigating the death of a Great Bend man who was shot multiple times Tuesday evening, Sheriff Brian Bellendir reports.

Charles G. Rousey, 34, was found deceased at his home west of Great Bend.

The suspect, Nicholas A. Pethel, remains in custody in the Barton County Jail.

Barton County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to 398 Grove Terrace near the airport west of Great Bend at 8:36 p.m. on Aug. 13 after 911 dispatchers received a report of a disturbance and shots fired.

Sheriff’s deputies and members of the Kansas Highway Patrol checked the residence and discovered the body of a 34-year-old white male at the rear of the building, Sheriff Brian Bellendir stated in a news release. The victim, who was pronounced dead at the scene, had sustained multiple gunshot wounds. 

Deputies were able to develop suspect information from witnesses and issued an “attempt to locate” bulletin for Pethel, age 23, of rural Great Bend, and the vehicle he was driving.

Later that night, members of the Great Bend Fire Department who were returning from an accident scene had heard the broadcast and spotted the suspect vehicle on South Main Street in Great Bend. The fire department notified 911 dispatchers who in turn sent law enforcement to the area.

Members of the BSCO and the Great Bend Police Department stopped the vehicle on Railroad Avenue between Washington and Main. The suspect, Pethel, was taken into custody without incident and transported to the Barton County Jail. Pethel was booked on a first-degree murder charge and is being held in lieu of a $1 million bond.

Bellendir noted that the Kansas Bureau of Investigation will be assisting with the homicide investigation. The case will be sent to the Barton County Attorney’s office for review.