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Sedgwick County Sheriff's Deputy Shot, Killed

A Sedgwick County sheriff's deputy has been killed. He was shot yesterday (SUN) during a confrontation with a suspect who was also killed. Stephan Bisaha has more from Wichita.


(alternate newscast version)

Sedgwick County Sheriff's Deputy Shot, Killed

A Sedgwick County sheriff's deputy has been killed in a shooting. The incident happened yesterday (SUN), north of Garden Plain, during a call about a suspicious character. Witnesses say deputy Robert Kunze (COON-zee) and the suspect fought after the deputy confiscated a possibly stolen handgun from the suspect and then tried to handcuff him. That led to the fatal shooting of both Kunze and the suspect. Speaking during a news conference last (SUN) night, Sheriff Jeff Easter said the sheriff's office had suffered a great loss.


The suspect in the shooting has not been identified.

Stephan Bisaha is a reporter for KMUW Radio and a contributor to Kansas Public Radio and the Kansas News Service.

Follow Stephan on Twitter.     

(AP version)

Kansas Deputy and Suspect Fatally Shot During Arrest

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a Kansas sheriff's deputy and a suspect were killed after a fight broke out as the suspect was being arrested in a rural area of Wichita.  Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter said Deputy Robert Kunze was shot Sunday afternoon after receiving a call about a black truck that had been stolen.  When Kunze arrived at the scene about 20 miles west of downtown Wichita, he found the hood open on the black vehicle. Easter says Kunze patted down the suspect's waistband and found a 40-caliber handgun. According to the Wichita Eagle, the gun was placed away from the two of them, but a fight ensued when Kunze tried to handcuff the suspect.  Easter says Kunze's service weapon was discharged, but investigators don't know if the suspect's handgun was fired too. Kunze was able to use the emergency button on his portable radio to summon help. Another deputy arrived about a minute later, and two witnesses hiding nearby said shots had been fired. The deputy found Kunze and the suspect on the ground. A 40-caliber handgun was found next to the suspect, whose name hasn't been released.  Kunze had been shot once in his upper torso above his ballistic vest, Easter said. The suspect was shot in his upper torso and waist. Kunze died at a hospital, while the suspect was pronounced dead at the scene.

The shooting is under investigation. Easter said the deputy's vehicle was equipped with a dash camera but that footage was not yet available.  He said the suspect has been linked to several crimes in the area that took place Sunday — the theft of a 40-caliber weapon, a silver vehicle and the black truck. He said there are no other suspects in Kunze's death, but that there may be more suspects in the other cases.  The Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office posted a badge covered with a blue and black mourning band on its Facebook page to remember Kunze. Easter described the deputy's death as a "tragedy," saying Kunze "worked with great pride, loved and encouraged the people who worked with him, but most of all he loved his family." Kunze had a wife and child.

 

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