KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A police officer died Tuesday after he was shot while responding to a call in Kansas City, Kansas, according to police chief Terry Zeigler.
Zeigler tweeted at about 2:02 p.m., encouraging people to “start prayers.” Officer Tom Tomasic said the officer is at the hospital with life-threatening injuries.
We have an officer shot at 22nd & Haskell. Start prayers, unknown condition.
— KCKPD (@KCKPDChief) July 19, 2016
Melton was shot while responding to an armed disturbance involving four males in a vehicle near 2nd and Edgerton, a few miles east of where he was shot.
Zeigler held a news conference at 4 p.m. at the University of Kansas Hospital, where he confirmed that the officer had died of his injuries.
Police spokesman Tom Tomasic said he believes Melton was investigating the disturbance for about 30 minutes and located the vehicle or the suspects near 22nd and Haskell before he was shot just before 2 p.m. in that area near Haskell. FOX 4's Katie Banks asked Tomasic whether the officer was alone or with a partner. Many police departments around the nation decided officers should always be in pairs following the ambushes in Dallas and Baton Rouge.
This makes the second instance of a Kansas City, Kan. officer shot in the line of duty since the May 9 shooting of Det. Brad Lancaster.
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."
"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," Tomasic said.
When asked if police believe the shooting of this officer is related to prior attacks on officers, Tomasic said it was too early to know.
"There's no way to know at this time. As far as we know this started out as a crime that we were investigating, so to just say that he was shot for no reason, we don't know that yet. We do believe that he was investigating a crime so he was out here doing his service," Tomasic said.
Police reported one suspect was in custody, and they are currently searching for another.
Melton's death makes the second instance of a Kansas City, Kan. officer shot and killed in the line of duty since the May 9 shooting of Det. Brad Lancaster.
"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 that you, it's someone very close and you know them very well. Good friend, good person, knew him well, worked with him everyday," Tomasic said.