NKC officer killed Tuesday is 8th area officer killed in line of duty in 6 years

Published: Jul. 19, 2022 at 10:00 PM CDT
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NORTH KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - A line-of-duty death of one of his officers is something North Kansas City Police Chief Kevin Freeman said he’s thought about often but hoped never to experience.

“This is the first line-of-duty death for a North Kansas City police officer,” Freeman announced in front of the crime scene where Officer Daniel Vasquez was shot during a traffic stop for a car with expired temporary tags.

Several area departments have lost officers during shootings in recent years. In some cases, the same department had more than one member killed in less than a year’s time.

On May 9, 2016, Kansas City, Kansas, Police Detective Brad Lancaster was shot and killed near the Kansas Speedway. He was responding to a call about a suspicious person in the area. His killer is serving life in prison.

Less than three months later, on July 19, 2016, Kansas City, Kansas, Police Captain Robert David Melton was shot and killed. It happened near 22nd and Haskell when he was searching for suspects in a drive-by shooting. His killer is serving life in prison.

The day Vasquez was killed marked six years to the day that Melton was killed.

The next two line-of-duty shooting deaths both involved the Clinton, Missouri, Police Department.

Officer Gary Michael was shot on August 6, 2017. He died soon after. A man shot him when Michael stopped a car for a registration violation. That man is still awaiting trial.

Seven months later – on March 6th, 2018 – another Clinton officer, Christopher Ryan Morton, was shot and killed. He and other officers were dispatched to a house where a 911 operator heard screaming. Officers returned fire. The suspect was found dead after a prolonged standoff.

In June of 2018, the Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Office lost two deputies in the line of duty. Both were shot by a prisoner who was being transported to the courthouse. Deputies Patrick Thomas Rohrer and Theresa Sue King died one day apart from each other on June 15 and 16, 2018. The man accused of killing them is still awaiting trial.

On May 3, 2020, a traffic stop in Overland Park, Kansas, ended with Officer Michael Shaun Mosher shot and killed. Overland Park police said Mosher returned fire. His suspected killer died.

Independence Police Officer Blaize Madrid-Evans was killed on September 15, 2021. A fellow officer who was responding to the same call shot and killed the accused gunman.

North Kansas City Police reported Tuesday afternoon that a person of interest in Vasquez’s murder had turned himself in. As of Thursday night, he was in custody on an investigative hold pending possible charges from the Clay County prosecutor. The Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department is handling the investigation.

Previous coverage:

‘Just unfathomable’: NKC officer shot during traffic stop dies from injuries

Local leaders, police departments take to social media after officer is fatally shot in North Kansas City