Police officer shot and killed in Kansas

Police officer shot and killed in Kansas

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A police officer was shot and killed in Kansas while searching for a suspect in a drive-by shooting.

Captain Robert Melton was searching for the suspect in Kansas City when he drove up to someone who matched the description just before 2pm local time yesterday, police spokesman Tom Tomasic said.

Before Capt Melton could get out of his vehicle, the suspect opened fire, hitting the officer multiple times, Mr Tomasic said.

The alleged shooter was caught five minutes later nearby.

Police said the person was being questioned along with another person suspected over the initial drive-by shooting.

A third person who had been taken into custody was released.
It is the second time a Kansas City police officer has been shot and killed this year.

In early May, detective Brad Lancaster was fatally shot near the Kansas Speedway, and Capt Melton served in the police honour guard at the funeral.

The shooting comes as police departments across the country are on edge after ambush attacks left eight officers dead in Texas and Louisiana.

“There’s a lot of pain and brokenness in our community and our nation right now, and we just want to ask everyone to be prayerful and thoughtful right now,” said Mayor Mark Holland of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County.

Ida Ford, 87, was watching television in her home when gunfire erupted just outside.

She said she thought someone was knocking on her air conditioner until her son rushed downstairs and told her the three loud noises she had heard were gunshots.

Ms Ford said she looked through her window and saw the officer sprawled and unresponsive on the road in front of her home.
“I’m just so sorry for his family,” she said.

Capt. Melton was taken to the University of Kansas Hospital, but resuscitation efforts did not work, trauma surgeon James Howard said.

The shooting happened after police responded to a report around 1.30pm from a person who said several people in a car were firing shots.

The suspect vehicle drove off as police arrived, but it crashed into a fence and the occupants fled at 1.36pm.

Two people were taken into custody within three minutes of the crash, and Capt Melton, 46, was driving around looking for a third person when he came upon someone who matched the suspect’s description.

Capt. Melton was a 17-year veteran of the Kansas City Police Department. According to his LinkedIn profile, he had also served in the Kansas Army National Guard and was deployed to Afghanistan from September 2010 to March 2012.

Outside the hospital where he died, local Baptist preacher Jimmie Banks – a friend of the city’s mayor – said: “The contributions that peace officers make to protect and serve – they deserve better.

“When they leave home, the family expects them to return. It’s shameful this has happened.”

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