A Kansas City, Kan., police captain was shot and killed Tuesday afternoon while responding to a reported drive-by shooting. Capt. Robert Melton was shot just before 2 p.m. in Kansas City, Kan. Two people are in custody in connection with the shooting death and another one is also in jail, police said. Melton is the second Kansas City police officer to be shot and killed in ten weeks.
Fox 4 News reported:
When officers arrived, the suspects fled in a vehicle to 22nd and Haskell.
“As Cpt. Melton was arriving, the suspects bailed from the vehicle and opened fire, striking Cpt. Melton and fatally wounding him,” Zeigler said.
Melton was rushed to the University of Kansas Hospital, where he died of his injuries.
A police source told FOX 4 that an officer spotted a third suspect hiding behind a home near Northwest Middle School at 18th and Haskell, not far from where the shooting happened.
Melton was pronounced dead at around 3:00 p.m. He was 46 years old and had been with the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department since late 1999. He also served in Afghanistan as a member of the Kansas National Guard.
“It’s hard. It’s very hard right now,” said Tom Tomasic of the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department.
Witnesses at the Juniper Gardens public housing complex said they heard as many as 20 gunshots early Tuesday afternoon. Officers responded to the scene and Melton went to the area to assist.
“He was alone at the time,” Tomasic said. “I don’t want to go into details why.”
Gov. Sam Brownback tweeted “Kansas grieves for the KCK officer who today lost his life in the line of duty. We pray for his family and stand with the @KCKPDChief.”
Kansas Attorney Gen. Derek Schmidt said in a statement, “We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with all in the law enforcement community and share in Kansas City’s sorrow. My prayers and deepest sympathies remain with the men and women of the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department and all officers who protect and serve with honor, and with the family and friends of Capt. Melton.”
“For the second time in only two months, the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department is dealing with the tragic loss of one of its own,” said Rep. Kevin Yoder. “Brooke and I join the entire KCK community in praying for Capt. Robert Melton and our heartfelt sympathies go out to the broken-hearted family he leaves behind. We want to thank the doctors and nurses at KU Hospital who did everything in their power to try and save his life and hope we can all honor his memory by coming together as a community. The tragic killing of our law enforcement officers must stop.”
Fox 4 reported that already “people from around the community were already seen bringing food to the police station and offering their support and condolences at this difficult time.”