JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Two families honored their loved ones who died while protecting the Kansas City metro.
Both North Kansas City police officer Daniel Vasquez and Kansas City, Missouri, police officer James Muhlbauer were among the fallen officers honored during Saturday’s law enforcement memorial service in Jefferson City.
Gov. Mike Parson spoke during the event.
Officer Vasquez’s name was added to the Missouri Law Enforcement Memorial earlier this year. His family placed a carnation in the wreath representing Missouri fallen officers in his honor during the service.
The family of Officer Muhlbauer also attended the service and placed a carnation in the wreath. His name will be added to the memorial before next year’s service honoring officers killed in the line of duty.
The Missouri Department of Public Safety provided the following pictures from Saturday’s memorial service.
Officer James Muhlbauer and K9 Champ
Muhlbauer and K9 Champ died while on patrol near Truman Road and Benton Boulevard Feb. 15.
Jerron Allen Lightfoot, of Tonganoxie, Kansas, is charged with two counts of first-degree involuntary manslaughter in connection with the crash. Lightfoot,18, posted a $3,000 bond on Feb. 17 and was released on house arrest. He is required to stay in Jackson County, according to the court.
According to court documents, Lightfoot was speeding and ran a red light before hitting officer Muhlbauer’s car.
North Kansas City officer Daniel Vasquez
Joshua Rocha, 24, is charged in Clay County with one count of first-degree murder and one count of armed criminal action in the shooting death of North Kansas City police officer Daniel Vasquez.
According to court records, on July 19, 2022, Vasquez, 32, stopped Rocha for an expired tag on his car.
Rocha later admitted to shooting Vasquez five times with a rifle. He told officers he shot the officer because he didn’t want to go to jail or have his car towed.
He pleaded not guilty in court on Sept. 1, 2022.
Vazquez will also be honored at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington this year.