KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Two men have been charged in connection with the deadly shooting of Kansas City, Kan., police captain Dave Melton.
Jamaal Lewis, 20, was charged with capital murder of a law enforcement officer, aggravated assault and criminal discharge of a firearm.
Daqon Sipple, 18, was charged with aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer and use of a deadly weapon, and criminal discharge of a weapon in an unoccupied dwelling. Sipple is not facing a murder charge, and Wyandotte County District Attorney Jerome Gorman explained why.
"In this situation, Sipple was taken into custody 19 minutes before Capt. Melton was shot. In order for Sipple to be liable for the death or the actions of Lewis, we would have to prove that he knew what Lewis was going to do over there on 22nd Street and we don't have any evidence to show that he knew Lewis was going to shoot a police officer or particularly, Capt. Melton there," said Gorman.
Neither Lewis nor Sipple have a significant criminal history, police said. A decision on whether Lewis will face the death penalty has not been determined yet.
“I spoke with various members of the family today and what I told them was is we still have more investigation to do, number one. Number two I wanted to give them their space to grieve and that it wouldn't be proper to talk about it while they're still going through that grieving process. I said we'll give them time,” Gorman said.
Kansas City, Kan., Police Chief Terry Zeigler says the series of events that led to the death of Captain Dave Melton began Tuesday, July 19, when a citizen called police to report 3-4 young men inside a burgundy Grand Prix shooting a gun in the area of 2nd and Edgerton. DA Gorman said a 9 mm handgun was used at that crime scene.
"There's been some kind of ongoing problem between Lewis and Sipple and another group of people and police are still trying to run that down," Gorman explained.
Shortly thereafter, an officer who was on routine patrol saw a burgundy Grand Prix near 15th and Haskell driving the wrong way. The officer went after the vehicle to stop it for the traffic violation, but the driver fled.
The officer briefly pursued the car, but then stopped because the nature of the crime was only a traffic violation. At that time, the description of the suspect vehicle from the shooting had not yet been broadcast to the officers in the field.
Once it was a few minutes later, officers on patrol located the vehicle in the area of 15th and Rowland. The officer provided a description of the suspects, who eventually bailed from the vehicle and took off running on foot. When they bailed from the vehicle, the driver of the vehicle was taken into custody immediately without incident.
When an officer took Sipple into custody, he believed he still had a gun on him, and felt in fear of his life, leading to the aggravated assault of a law enforcement charge.
Captain Melton was out on patrol and was in the area of 22nd and Georgia, heard the call, and went to assist. At 1:58 p.m., Captain Melton and another officer, spotted a suspect in the area of 22nd and Georgia. Captain Melton sped to the suspect location, cutting him off, or boxing him in with his police vehicle.
"The suspect produced a handgun and fired several shots into the passenger side of Captain Melton's patrol car through the window, which was halfway down. At the time of the shooting, Captain Melton was trying to exit his patrol car to engage the suspect. Captain Melton was shot several times and officers at the scene begin rendering aid immediately," said Chief Zeigler.
Chief Zeigler said Captain Melton was wearing his protective vest at the time. Gorman said a .40 caliber pistol was the weapon used to kill him.
Captain Melton was taken to the hospital "where he ended his watch" at approximately 2:55 p.m.
Melton leaves behind three children, and was expecting a fourth child with his girlfriend. He has nine siblings.
Lewis is being held on a $10 million bond, Sipple's bond is $100,000 per jail records.