Wyandotte County deputies honored at memorial on anniversary of their deaths

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- One year ago this Saturday is a somber anniversary for Wyandotte County and the families of deputies Theresa King and Patrick Rohrer. Thew were shot dead while trying to transfer an inmate.

On Friday they were honored and their names were revealed on a memorial for fallen officers at the Wyandotte County Courthouse. The memorial sits just around the corner from where both deputies lost their lives.

"Father, we thank you for bringing the families," a member of the Wyandotte County Sheriff's office prayed, "the Rohrer family and the King family, through this year."

The families, colleagues and community came together to remember the deputies on Friday.

Rohrer died at the age of 35. He left behind a wife and two small children. King died at the age of 44, leaving behind three children.

Wyandotte County deputies Theresa King and Patrick Rohrer

The deputies were shot at about 11:30 a.m. June 15, 2018, in downtown KCK, not far from the courthouse and sheriff’s office. It happened in a transport bay while a suspect was being moved from court back to the jail.

Sgt. David J. Toland, Mayor David Alvey, Sheriff Donald Ash and Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt all spoke at the ceremony to honor the fallen deputies.

"We must give thanks that they have shown us how to live with such passion and commitment that we too are inspired to do the good, the right and the just thing for others no matter the cost to ourselves," Alvey said.

"We will always remember Theresa and Patrick, and what we will remember them for and, families, what they are remembered as heroes for is not the way they died, but the way they lived, and they lived with their hearts full of love," Ash said.

Their names are forever etched in stone in front of the courthouse where they lost their lives.

They're at the bottom of a list of other deputies who lost their lives over the decades. Before King and Rohrer the last death in the Wyandotte County Sheriff's Department was in 1984.

Sgt. Jeffrey Taylor worked with both deputies. He said he worked with King since he started at the sheriff's department. He said that day he not only lost two colleagues, but people he considers family.

"We never forget the ultimate sacrifice that this mother, this father made," Taylor said. "This husband. They made this ultimate sacrifice. They didn't want to be etched on this memorial."

Rain fell on the ceremony of the first anniversary of their death, just as it did at their funeral. Taylor said it's a sign Theresa and Patrick are with them.

"We remember those people that protect us while we sleep in our homes," Taylor said. "That protect our children, protect our community, so that way we can live our life the way that we choose."

"We must embrace today and every day," Alvey said. "The hope that they have given us in the gift of their service, and ultimately, the gift of their lives. If it is possible we must be consoled that they cared enough for us to offer their very bodies and souls."

Antoine Fielder, the man accused of killing both deputies, remains in the Wyandotte County Jail awaiting trial. If convicted, he is facing the death penalty.

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