Suspected gunmen identified in killing of veteran KCK police cap - KCTV5

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Suspected gunmen identified in killing of veteran KCK police captain

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Jamaal Lewis, left, and Daqon Sipple are being held in connection with fatal the shooting of a Kansas City, KS police captain. (Wyandotte County jail) Jamaal Lewis, left, and Daqon Sipple are being held in connection with fatal the shooting of a Kansas City, KS police captain. (Wyandotte County jail)
Capt. Robert Melton was a 17-year veteran of the Kansas City, KS Police Department and served with the Wyandotte County Sheriff's Department for nine years. (KCKPD) Capt. Robert Melton was a 17-year veteran of the Kansas City, KS Police Department and served with the Wyandotte County Sheriff's Department for nine years. (KCKPD)
KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) -

Two men are being held in connection with the fatal shooting of a Kansas City, KS police captain, KCTV5 has learned.

Prosecutor Jerome Gorman says Jamaal Lewis and Daqon Sipple, the men in jail in connection with Capt. Robert Melton’s death, may not be charged until Thursday. Police say they are not looking for any other suspects at this time.

Lewis, 20, was booked late Tuesday night in Wyandotte County jail on first-degree murder. Sipple, 18, was booked hours earlier on aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer and use of a deadly weapon.

KCTV5 spoke to Clarette Monroe, the mother of Lewis.

She says don’t rush to judgment yet.

“He’s not a bad kid,” Monroe said. “He’s hanging out with a rough crowd. He has no record and has never been arrested. People should not rush to judgment. Don’t do that.”

Jalelisa Sipple, the sister of Daqon Sipple, also spoke to KCTV5. She echoed Monroe's comments. 

"The only thing I want people to know is that the picture that's being painted is not actually him," she said. "Which is what most people know, everybody that knows him knows that he's not that kind of kid."

KCTV5 examined Lewis’ and Sipple’s backgrounds. Searches in Kansas and Missouri revealed clean records. However, juvenile records are sealed.  

Police said there was a drive-by shooting at Second Street and Edgerton Road about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday and officers responded. Melton found both the suspects at 22nd Street and Haskell Avenue about 2 p.m.

Before Melton could get out of his vehicle, someone opened fire through his window, hitting Melton several times, Zeigler said.

Melton, 46, was taken to the University of Kansas Hospital. Paramedics tried to resuscitate him the whole way there. He was pronounced dead a little before 3 p.m.

Community members and leaders are frustrated with the recent acts of violence and say it's time to protect police. It's the second time a KCK police officer has been shot and killed this year. In early May, detective Brad Lancaster was fatally shot near the Kansas Speedway, and Melton had served in the police honor guard at Lancaster's funeral.

"This crime does not fit the national narrative of planned attacks against law enforcement officers. But it does fit the narrative when it comes to the fact that words matter. The hate and anti-police speech has got to stop because the consequences are real,” Police Chief Terry Zeigler said.

Members of the clergy, city officials, and Melton’s family and friends crammed into City Hall Wednesday morning to show their support. They stood in solidarity against the violence that occurred Tuesday.

Since the shootings in Dallas, KCK police have been working in pairs, and they'll continue to do so for their safety.

Community members gathered at City Hall at 8 p.m. for a candlelight vigil to remember Melton and show their support for police.

Friends, family and fellow officers remember Melton as a man with a huge heart. They say he was a man who loved to joke around, who was loyal, a decorated police officer, a war veteran and all around beloved by everyone who knew him.

“He was one of those guys that was there to lean on. He would help me out with new recruits. A nice guy who will be greatly missed,” said Joseph Henre, a retired police officer.

"He was a professional. Awesome personality. A big personality...I'd see him every day. Just gregarious, liked to joke around a lot, just a big, lovable guy, if I would describe him. Hard exterior, but soft on the inside and well respected throughout our organization and the community," Zeigler described Melton at Wednesday's news conference.

Melton leaves behind three children, three step-children, his partner, her two kids, and their baby on the way.

He was a 17-year veteran of the Kansas City, KS Police Department and served with the Wyandotte County Sheriff's Department for nine years. He also served in the Kansas Army National Guard as an enlisted soldier from Dec. 1, 1986, until he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in August 1997. He retired as a captain Feb. 28, 2012.

“The Kansas National Guard is mourning the loss of Captain Melton today,” said Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli, the adjutant general. “Captain Melton served his state and nation honorably for over 26 years and for this we are forever grateful. There are many heavy hearts amongst his brothers and sisters in arms following this senseless tragedy. The Kansas National Guard stands ready and willing to assist Captain Melton’s family and the Kansas City Kansas Police Department during what is unquestionably a very difficult time.”

His military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Army Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Army Achievement Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Iraqi Campaign Medal with campaign star, Afghanistan Campaign medal with campaign star, NATO Afghanistan Service Medal and Combat Action Badge.

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