KANSAS CITY, Mo —One day after two KCPD officers were shot in two separate incidents, there is good news. One is recovering at home and the other is showing promising signs of improvement in the intensive care unit.
The first officer suffered non-life threatening wounds after her was shot around 10:40 a.m. on Thursday after responding to a robbery call near Independence Avenue and Hardesty. A RideKC bus driver was also shot and is recovering. 25-year-old Justin A. Rogers has been charged in the case.
The second officer suffered critical injuries after he was shot near 31st and Van Brunt. Just before 5 p.m. officers were called to the scene of an armed disturbance in the area. The suspect in that case was shot and killed by officers.
Kansas City Police officers gathered around their Chief outside of East Patrol Division during a news conference Friday.
Chief Rick Smith shared a message from the mother of the wounded officer.
“I was talking to the mom and she said, ‘I would like to ask the city to please play pray for peace in our city. That we need more peace in the city and not more violence,” Smith said.
Kansas City is on pace to break its homicide record. As of Friday, there have been 97 homicides in and 320 non-fatal shootings in the city.
“I just hope the city quits doing what it’s doing,” said KCFOP President Brad Lemon. “We’ve got children dying you know? Young ladies dying. I mean seriously, it does not make any sense. It’s like we’re in the twilight zone here.”
Lemon has seen a lot in his 29 years on the force.
“I think as a cop, it brings back a lot of bad memories of losing friends and funerals and those types of things,” Lemon said of the recent shootings. “I feel like it’s one thing after another and yesterday was, for us, crushing to police officers.”
Besides trying to protect people from seemingly out of control violence, KCPD officers are facing the dangers of COVID-19, have been the target of protesters and now, a reminder that any day there is the chance they will not go home.
“We’ve got officers that are not coming to work today because of what they saw yesterday and officers that are in the hospital,” Lemon said. “I think right now we’re just like everybody else, just trying to keep keep our heads above water.”
There is a saying that when one officer falls the rest stubble, but the men and women of the Kansas City Police Department are up on their feet still protecting the people of Kansas City.
“We are not going to stop doing our job,” said Chief Smith. “If you think this is some sort of opportunity for you to engage in stupid behavior, I want you to know we are going to be there and we are going to come after you. If you want to be involved in violence we are going to come after you as hard as we can.”
KCPD is offering counseling to officers who need it and the police union has a peer support program set up for officers.