KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A police captain was shot and killed Tuesday in Kansas City, Kansas, while responding to a 911 call, according to Police Chief Terry Zeigler.
The victim has been identified as Capt. Robert "Dave" Melton, 46. He was with the department for nearly 17 years, and was promoted to captain in 2015. Before working for the Kansas City Police Department he worked for the Wyandotte County Sheriff's Office. He was also a member of the Kansas National Guard.
"We just want to ask for the thoughts and prayers for Cpt. Melton's family and for our entire police department right now and for our community," said Mayor Mark Holland. "There's a lot of pain and brokenness in our community and in our nation right now and we just want to ask everyone to be prayerful and thoughtful right now."
Police Chief Zeigler tweeted at about 2:02 p.m., encouraging people to “start prayers.” Officer Tom Tomasic said at the time the captain was at the hospital with life-threatening injuries, but later said he died.
Two of the suspects have been arrested and a third is in custody. Police say they are looking for a possible fourth suspect.
The officer shot was originally responding to reports of a drive-by shooting near 2nd and Edgerton. When officers got to the scene the suspect vehicle drove off, and Capt. Melon was one of the officers in pursuit behind them when he was shot.
"As Capt. Melton was arriving, the suspects bailed from the vehicle and opened fire, striking Capt. Melton and fatally wounding him," Zeigler said.
Then the call went out that the officer was shot just before 2 p.m. in the area of 22nd and Haskell, in the Juniper Gardens section.
When asked if Melton was alone, Tomasic said, "He was alone at the time. I don't want to go into details why. We don't know the situation yet. People need to be notified before I start giving out any details on that."
This makes the second instance of a Kansas City, Kan. officer shot in the line of duty; on May 9 Det. Brad Lancaster was shot and killed.
Officer Tomasic said that news of the shooting is hitting the department especially hard following Lancaster's death.
"It definitely makes it worse, you've got the feelings of two months ago coming up with the brand new ones," Tomasic said. "It's hard, it's very hard right now. Especially when it's someone who's very close."