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Victim identified; first appearance held in Larned shooting
Michael Reynolds

PAWNEE COUNTY — First appearance for the man accused of shooting a Larned doctor was held in the Pawnee County Courthouse Wednesday morning.

Michael Reynolds, 67, of Larned, has been charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and criminal possession of a firearm in connection with the shooting death of Tomas Garza, M.D. on Saturday March 30 at Garza’s rural property south of Larned.

Pawnee County Attorney Douglas McNett reported that Reynolds appeared Wednesday morning before Pawnee Magistrate Judge Julie Cowell, who advised the defendant of the charges, the possible penalties if convicted and his constitutional rights, including his right to counsel.

According to a release issued Monday by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, Garza, M.D., 52, was shot multiple times during an argument with Reynolds, 67, of Larned, at approximately 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 30. The shooting occurred at 1219 South K-19, in rural Pawnee County. Garza was transported to Pawnee Valley Community Hospital, but later died of his injuries. 

At Wednesday’s appearance, McNett noted that an individual that was with Garza at the time of the incident indicated the firearm in question had also been aimed at them. 

McNett also noted at the appearance that Reynolds was not legally entitled to possess a firearm due to previous firearm incident in 2015.

A resident in the Larned community, Garza had been the Supervisor of Primary Care at Larned State Hospital since September 2012. He was also affiliated with Pawnee Valley Community Hospital and had a family medicine practice in Bryan, Texas.

Reynolds was arrested at the scene for second-degree murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He was booked into the Pawnee County Jail, with no bond set. The Pawnee County Sheriff’s Office requested that the Kansas Bureau of Investigation assist with the investigation and KBI agents processed the crime scene.

The charges stem from a joint investigation by the PCSO, KBI and Coroner Dr. Lyle Noordhoek. The joint investigation is ongoing.

If convicted of the murder charge, under the Kansas Sentencing Guidelines Reynolds faces between 147 months and 653 months in the custody of the Department of Corrections depending on his criminal history.

Defense counsel was appointed and preliminary hearing was scheduled for 1 p.m. April 16.

Reynolds remains in custody at the Pawnee County Jail without bond, due to community safety concerns, McNett said.