JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri flags will fly at half-staff in honor of Kansas City Police Officer James Muhlbauer and K9 Officer Champ.
Gov. Mike Parson ordered the flags to be lowered at all government buildings in Cass, Clay, Jackson, and Platte counties on Wednesday, Feb. 22.
Muhlbauer and Champ worked in all four counties served by the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department.
“Officer James Muhlbauer devoted his life to protecting the residents of Kansas City, and for 20 years, he excelled in his chosen profession, putting service to his community at the forefront of all he did,” Governor Parson said. “For the last year, Officer Muhlbauer and K-9 Champ worked as inseparable partners and guardians of the community. They died senselessly, but we will forever remember their contributions to the betterment of Kansas City and Missouri.”
Muhlbauer and Champ will be honored and remembered during a visitation, procession, and funeral Wednesday. Parson says he plans to attend.
The pair died on duty last week, when a speeding driver ran a red light and hit the officers’ police vehicle, according to court documents. The crash happened near Truman Road and Benton Boulevard.
Champ died at the scene. Mulhbauer died of his injuries at a hospital.
That crash caused a second collision with a pedestrian which killed 52-year-old Jesse Eckes.
Jerron Allen Lightfoot, 18, of Tonganoxie, Kansas, is charged with two counts of first-degree involuntary manslaughter in the crash.
Lightfoot posted bond two days after the crash. He is scheduled to be in court again on Feb. 27.