Two Wyandotte County Sheriff's Office deputies and a suspect were shot outside the county courthouse on Friday, leading to the death of both deputies.
The shooting happened around 11:30 a.m. near the corner of 8th Street and Ann Avenue, in the parking lot of the gated transport office.
The deputies were transporting two inmates to court for a hearing when they were "overcome," according to Lt. Kelli Bailiff with the Wyandotte County Sheriff's Office.
“They were going from the jail over to the court services building which is across the street for a hearing," said Chief Terry Ziegler.
The inmate was shackled and in handcuffs, and police believe the inmate used one of the deputies' guns to shoot them.
Both deputies were then taken to an area hospital.
Deputy Patrick Rohrer died at the hospital from his injuries on Friday afternoon. He was 35 years old and had seven years of service. Around 4 p.m., a motorcade of officers escorted Rohrer's body from the hospital.
Deputy Theresa King, who was 44 and was a 13-year veteran of the department, died from her injuries shortly after midnight on Saturday.
Deputy Rohrer had two young children. Deputy King had two older children and one younger child.
The suspect was also shot during the incident and was taken to an area hospital for surgery.
Sources have told KCTV5 News that suspect is Antoine Fielder. As of Saturday morning, he was in stable condition.
The authorities are not looking for any other suspects in connection to the incident.
The Kansas City, Kansas Police Department is heading the investigation and hopes surveillance video will help with that. Bailiff said that, from all indications, all proper procedures were followed, but they will be reviewed.
The shooting took place just down the street from a memorial for fallen Wyandotte County deputies. Now, the community will have to place two more names on the memorial.
KCTV5 News spoke to witnesses who were inside or near the courthouse when the shooting started.
One of them said he heard gunfire, looked outside, and heard a woman screaming that her husband had been shot. Then he saw two officers being loaded into an ambulance and taken away.
He said the courtroom he was in was placed on lockdown. He was able to leave more than an hour later.
"Right when I walked into the courtroom they pushed us into the corner of the courtroom, then I saw one officer being carried away with blood on their chest and another officer being carried away," John Garcia said.
Witnesses said they feared for their own lives.
Video from a woman who was inside one of the courtrooms shows the chaos that followed the shooting, first responders arriving to help the deputies, and a woman lying on the ground.
Part of what makes the shooting so shocking is that it happened in what would normally be a safe, secure location for police.
"At the courthouse," Garcia said, "you're in one of the safest places you can be. This occurred right outside of a courthouse with so many people around."
Flags were lowered to half-staff in downtown KCK by Friday evening.
Bailiff said on Saturday morning that people who want to donate to the families of the fallen deputies are asked to call the sheriff’s office beginning on Monday. They have enough support and food for the families for the weekend. A fund will be set up at a credit union, as well, but those details will come later.
Price Chopper said they will accepting donations: "In light of the tragic news out of Kansas City, Kan., Price Chopper will be collecting donations to help support the families of Deputy Patrick Rohrer and Deputy Theresa King after their untimely deaths. All Kansas City area Price Choppers will be able to accept donations by 12 p.m. (noon) on Saturday, June 16.
'We’re saddened to hear the tragic news out of Kansas City today. Our law enforcement officers do so much in our communities,' said Casie Broker, Vice President of Marketing, Price Chopper. 'It’s our honor to collect donations to support Deputy Rohrer’s and Deputy King’s families following their loss.'
All donations will go to benefit the families of both Deputy Rohrer and Deputy King. Donations will be collected now through next Sunday, June 24."
The Kansas City, KS, Fraternal Order of Police issued the following statement on Friday in regards to the shooting:"We are praying for our friends at the Wyandotte County Sheriff's Office, their families, friends and our entire blue family. We are here for you all."Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer released a statement as well:"I was deeply saddened to learn of the tragic shooting of two sheriff's deputies outside the Wyandotte County Courthouse earlier this morning. Our law enforcement officers put their lives on the line each and every day to protect the public and their selfless service deserves our highest honor.
Ruth and I will be praying for the victims and their families, as well as all our law enforcement officers and other first responders as we come together as a community to mourn this horrific tragedy."The Kansas Highway Patrol said that people will now be seeing them wearing mourning bands as a sign of “respect, honor and solidarity.”
Congressman Kevin Yoder, who represents Wyandotte County, said he was “shocked and saddened.” He said, “This is tragically not the first time our community has been reminded of the ultimate sacrifice our men and women of law enforcement stand ready to make every day. We owe our police force, their families, and their loved ones a debt of gratitude we will never be able to repay.”
Video coverage from Friday:
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