Kan. deputy fatally shot during arrest
Deputy Robert Kunze, 41, had nearly handcuffed the suspect when the suspect turned on him
Duty Death: Robert Kunze - [Sedgwick County , Kansas]
End of Service: 09/16/2018
By Brianna Childers
The Topeka Capital-Journal
SEDGWICK COUNTY, Kan. — The Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office has identified a deputy that was killed in a deputy-involved shooting.
Deputy Robert Kunze, 41, was shot Sunday while he was responding to a call involving a suspicious person.
The Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office held a news conference Sunday night and posted a live feed on its Facebook page.
Around 1:20 p.m., Kunze responded to a call of a suspicious person near the 5300 block of N. 295th, in Wichita.
Upon arrival, Kunze approached the suspicious person and after patting him down, he found a weapon in the suspect's waistband, said Sheriff Jeff Easter.
A fight ensued when Kunze attempted to handcuff the suspect, according to witnesses at the scene.
At 1:48 p.m. Kunze pushed his emergency button and said he had been shot.
A second deputy arrived on the scene and found the suspect laying face down in the ditch and Kunze laying next to him.
Kunze was transported to Via Christi Hospital where he was pronounced dead, said Easter.
The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene.
Easter said deputies do not currently have an identification of the suspect.
Deputies believe that the suspect was tied to three other cases that occurred within 24 hours of the shooting, including a stolen handgun and two stolen vehicles.
"On a personal note, we will always remember him for his smile, his contagious laughter and his ability to engage anyone and everyone in conversation," Easter said. "Deputy Kunze will be absolutely missed and we ask for you to please pray for him and his family."
The Topeka Police Department sent condolences to the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office.
"We lost another law enforcement officer today in the line of duty," Topeka police officials said in a tweet. "Please keep the fallen deputy's family and friends in your thoughts."
Topeka Police Chief Bill Cochran said in a tweet that he was also sending his thoughts and prayers to Sedgwick County.
Attorney General Derek Schmidt released a statement in regards to Kunze's death.
"The tragic line-of-duty death today of Deputy Robert Kunze reminds all Kansans once again of the dangerous but indispensable public service given by law enforcement officers each and every day," Schmidt said. "Our prayers go out for Deputy Kunze's family and for all the men and women of Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office at this difficult and heartbreaking time."