Kansas City, Kansas, Police Captain Robert “Dave” Melton was fatally shot Tuesday in the line of duty, according to KCBD.
Melton was responding to an armed disturbance, reports state. Chief of Police Terry Zeigler said Melton was shot at 22nd Street and Haskell Avenue.
“We believe this case is another example of another criminal trying to escape arrest,” Holland said. “Yet we all need to worry that the national climate may foster greater fear and potentially inflame otherwise normal interactions and turn them into tragedies. This fear sometimes feels bigger than all of us, and yet I believe Kansas City Kansas will faithfully rise above this fear.”
Two suspects are in custody, but police believe one suspect is on the run. The suspects have not been identified publicly.
Here is what you need to know about Melton and his death:
1. Melton Was a Veteran on the Kansas City Police Force & Also Served in Afghanistan While in the National Guard
Melton, 46, was a police lieutenant with the Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Office from November 1990 to December 1999, later joining the KCKPD. He worked as a patrol officer from December 1999 to November 2006, KCBD reports.
In addition to his work as a police officer, Melton served in the Kansas National Guard. He was deployed to Afghanistan during his tenure there, according to KMBC.
Melton was also a graduate of Kansas City Community College.
2. Melton Was Responding to Calls of a ‘Disturbance’
The Kansas City Star reports there was a “confrontation that followed a reported drive-by shooting and a police chase” which led to Melton’s death.
Melton was responding to calls of a “disturbance” and “shots fired,” to help other officers.
“This crime does not fit the national narrative of planned attacks on law enforcement,” Police Chief Terry Zeigler told reporters Wednesday morning, the Kansas City Star reports. “But it does fit the narrative that words matter. The hate speech has to stop. Our blue line got a bit thinner yesterday with the death of Capt. Melton.”
Police are still searching for one suspect.
3. He is the 2nd Kansas City Cop Killed This Year in The Line of Duty
Melton is the second Kansas City officer shot and killed in the line of duty in recent months. Detective Brad Lancaster was shot and killed in May.
Lancaster, a nine-year veteran of the Kansas City department, was the first death for that city’s police force since 1998, according to the Star.
“Our detective fought a good fight, but unfortunately he died from his injuries at approximately 3:30 p.m.,” Police Chief Terry Zeigler said in a tweet. “Thanks for the support & prayers.”
The suspect in Lancaster’s shooting, Curtis Ayers, was charged with capital murder.
4. The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is Involved
The Associated Press is reporting the ATF is involved with assisting in the investigation, including ballistics.
Federal authorities are calling it a “large crime scene.”
5.The Kansas City Police Department Has Received Support From Police Around the Country
From near and far, people are pouring out their support for the KCPD in the wake of the shooting. Twitter’s #KansasCity is heavy with badges and photos of Melton.
The AP reports “The shooting of a Kansas City, Kansas, police captain drew swift condemnation as mourners gathered outside the main entrance of the hospital where the officer died.
Local Baptist preacher Jimmie Banks, who is a friend of the city’s mayor, sat dejected on a bench Tuesday with his head lowered after attending a news conference announcing Capt. Robert Melton’s death.
The minister says it was painful to sit in the room and see the grief-stricken faces during the announcement.”
Local station KMBC reports a crying friend of Melton said, “This violence has got to stop.”
“Pray, pray, pray. That is what you have to do,” the friend said.