Kansas City, Kansas police captain Robert Dave Melton was shot and killed today as he attempted to stop a vehicle matching the description of one reported to be involved in a drive-by shooting some 20 blocks away. The suspects reportedly bailed out of their vehicle. “Numerous” suspects then opened fire on Captain Melton before he could leave his vehicle.
EMS rushed Captain Melton to a local trauma center, but they were unable to review him.
Police One shares a slightly different version of events, where Melton approached the group of suspects while they were apparently on foot.
An officer with the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department died Tuesday after he was shot in his car as he approached people matching the description of suspects in an earlier shooting.
Capt. Robert Melton was brought to the University of Kansas Hospital just before 2:30 p.m., but resuscitation efforts did not work, trauma surgeon James Howard said at a Tuesday afternoon news conference.
“There’s a lot of pain and brokenness in our community and our nation right now, and we just want to ask everyone to be prayerful and thoughtful right now,” Mayor Mark Holland of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County said.
Melton had responded to a report of person being shot at by several people in a vehicle, the police department said in a news release. When he and other officers arrived on the scene, the three or four occupants of the car jumped out and ran away.
About a half-hour after the initial call, Melton saw people who matched the suspects’ descriptions about 20 blocks from the original scene and pulled up to them, police spokesman Tom Tomasic said. Before he could get out of his car, he was shot multiple times.
Melton’s car was in the middle of the street with “glass and blood all around it,” police spokesman Cameron Morgan said.
Current accounts are unclear as to whether all the suspects in the shooting have been taken into custody. At least one and possible two suspects have been taken into custody, and it’s unclear whether there were three or four suspects that was a part of the two shootings, or if there even really was a drive-by shooting at the initial location.
Social media speculation is attempting to tie Captain Melton’s murder to the same Black Lives Matter-affiliated ambushes of law enforcement officers in Baton Rouge, Dallas, and in a half-dozen other locations around the nation in the past week, but it is premature to make such speculation at this time.