Authorities identify man who killed Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Deputy Robert Kunze

Deputy Robert Kunze

WICHITA, Kan.  —  On Monday authorities identified the man they say shot and killed Deputy Robert Kunze, a 12-year veteran of a Kansas sheriff’s office.

The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office tweeted the news just after noon that the suspect was 29-year-old Robert C. Greeson.

“This will be the only time we speak of this man on our social media sites,” the sheriff’s office tweeted along with the suspect’s name and age.

Kansas Department of Corrections records show Greeson had convictions for selling and distributing drugs and for aggravated battery. While incarcerated, he had multiple disciplinary infractions, including for fighting.

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. He said the 41-year-old Kunze was “an exceptional deputy.”

When Kunze arrived at the scene about 20 miles west of downtown Wichita, he found the hood open on the black vehicle. Kunze patted down the suspect’s waistband and found a 40-caliber handgun. The gun was placed away from the two of them, but a fight ensued when Kunze tried to handcuff the suspect, Easter said at a news conference Sunday.

Easter said Kunze’s service weapon was discharged, but investigators don’t know how many shots were fired or 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.

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 on 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.

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.

The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office posted a badge covered with a blue and black mourning band on its Facebook page to remember Kunze.

“We will always remember him for his smile, his contagious laugh and his ability to engage anyone and everyone in conversation,” Easter said.