Local

Fallen officers to be honored in Wichita ceremony

Sedgwick County sheriff’s Detective Kenneth Kooser, left, and Wichita police Sgt. Charles Newman carry the memorial wreath through Wichita City Hall after the 2014 Law Enforcement Memorial service. (May 16, 2014)
Sedgwick County sheriff’s Detective Kenneth Kooser, left, and Wichita police Sgt. Charles Newman carry the memorial wreath through Wichita City Hall after the 2014 Law Enforcement Memorial service. (May 16, 2014) File photo

The public is invited to help honor local fallen law enforcement officers during a ceremony set for noon Friday in the City Council chambers of Wichita City Hall, 455 N. Main. Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay and Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter will place a wreath on the outdoor law enforcement memorial afterward, at 12:30 p.m., according to a news release from Wichita police and the city.

The outdoor memorial is on the southwest corner of Central and Main, outside of City Hall.

Twenty-nine Sedgwick County law enforcement officers have been killed in the line of duty since 1871; 19 were Wichita police officers, eight were Sedgwick County sheriff’s deputies, one was a Derby police officer and one was a Clearwater police officer.

Photos: Law Enforcement Memorial of Sedgwick County

The first was Deputy Carlos B. King, who died Sept. 23, 1871. The most recent officer death was Deputy Brian Etheridge, who was shot and killed Sept. 28, 2009, after responding to a larceny report.

Friday’s ceremony coincides with National Police Week and National Peace Officers Memorial Day, which is celebrated annually on May 15.

Amy Renee Leiker: 316-268-6644, @amyreneeleiker

Local officers killed since 1871

Brian Etheridge

Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office

Age: 26

Length of service: 18 months

Died: Sept. 28, 2009

Etheridge was shot and killed after arriving at a house on South Rock Road where a larceny had been reported. The suspect, who had called in the phony larceny report, was fatally wounded as he exchanged gunfire with law enforcement officers.

Lt. Jack Galvin

Wichita Police Department

Age: 49

Length of service: 20 years

Died: Nov. 4, 2000

Galvin died of injuries received from an explosion as he and members of the agency's bomb squad were destroying commercial fireworks. As they were loading some of the fireworks into the pit that Galvin was working, an unknown event triggered an explosion, causing the remaining fireworks on the truck to ignite.

Sgt. Kenneth Snider

Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office

Age: 48

Length of service: 20 years

Died: April 18, 1997

Snider and three other deputies had responded to a domestic violence call and were assessing what was happening when the suspect ran through the house. All the deputies followed and a struggle ensued. The suspect pulled a knife and stabbed Snider.

Kevin Easter

Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office

Age: 24

Length of service: 2 years

Died: Jan. 8, 1996

Easter was shot and killed during a vehicle stop where the driver had initially refused to yield and then ran from the car. Officers arriving as backup began searching for Easter, who was found suffering from a gunshot wound. He died later during surgery.

Christopher Willems

Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office

Age: 30

Length of service: 7 years, 6 months

Died: May 12, 1991

Willems was shot and killed while conducting a traffic stop. Willems was granted permission to search the van he had stopped, and he found a small amount of marijuana. As he placed the suspect under arrest, a struggle ensued. During the struggle one of the other men grabbed a revolver from the van and shot Willems in the leg and then in the head.

Terry McNett

Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office

Age: 36

Length of service: 9 years

Died: Feb. 3, 1988

McNett was shot and killed while participating in the execution of a search warrant at a drug house in Wichita. He was assigned to a Drug Enforcement Administration task force at the time.

Danny Laffey

Wichita Police Department

Age: 29

Length of service: 3 years

Died: Jan. 5, 1982

Laffey was struck and killed by a vehicle while investigating a disturbance at a local club. As he was removing the occupants of a vehicle for questioning, another vehicle entered the area, jumped the curb and struck him.

Paul Garofalo

Wichita Police Department

Age: 24

Length of service: 17 months

Died: Nov. 8, 1980

Garofalo was shot and killed when he stopped his police vehicle to question two women in the street. As he did so, a man emerged and fired a shotgun through the driver's window, killing him.

Charles Meeks

Derby Police Department

Age: 34

Length of service: 1 year

Died: May 9, 1976

Meeks died in an auto accident in western Kansas while going to participate in an official capacity at the Kansas Peace Officers Convention. His car was struck by another vehicle on U.S. 54 near Bucklin.

Roy Johnson

Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office

Age: 43

Length of service: 3 years

Died: Oct. 31, 1974

Johnson was shot and killed while attempting to apprehend an escaped prisoner who had shot and wounded a Wichita detective. Two other deputies were also shot and wounded during the arrest.

David Kenyon

Wichita Police Department

Age: 30

Length of service: 3 years

Died: Oct. 26, 1962

Kenyon and another officer had been at the scene of a domestic violence call for more than an hour, talking with the two participants. The man agreed to leave the home and went to his room to get some clothes. He emerged with a handgun and yelled at the officers to leave. The man's wife grabbed their daughter and fled toward the door. As Kenyon provided cover for them, the man opened fire, striking Kenyon.

Robert Hammers

Clearwater Police Department

Age: Unknown

Length of service: Unknown

Died: March 14, 1934

Hammers was shot sometime after midnight after coming across a possible bank robbery in progress. He spotted a truck parked near the bank when another car pulled up. Hammers, who was acting as the substitute marshal, was killed during an exchange of gunfire.

Merle Colver

Wichita Police Department

Age: 40

Length of service: 8 years

Died: Aug. 14, 1931

Colver was shot and killed while questioning two robbery suspects in their hotel room. As he began to search the room, he was shot by one of the men.

Lt. James Pugh

Wichita Police Department

Age: Unknown

Length of service: 4 years

Died: Aug. 1, 1930

Pugh was killed in a motorcycle accident while on patrol.

Paul Gilmore

Wichita Police Department

Age: 32

Length of service: 5 years

Died: July 18, 1930

Gilmore was killed in a motorcycle accident while on patrol.

Frank Hill

Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office

Age: 45

Length of service: 1 year

Died: Aug. 16, 1927

Hill was shot and killed during an attempted jailbreak by three inmates. The inmates used a revolver that had been smuggled into the jail.

Joseph Marshall

Wichita Police Department

Age: 30

Length of service: 2 years

Died: Aug. 9, 1927

Marshall was shot and killed when he and his partner stopped a vehicle whose occupants they recognized as gang members. As Marshall approached the car, he was shot and killed. His partner was able to return fire and kill the suspects.

Vernon Ogden

Wichita Police Department

Age: Unknown

Length of service: Unknown

Died: July 5, 1927

Ogden was killed during a vehicle pursuit when his police motorcycle struck the side of a Frisco passenger train.

Edward Hall

Wichita Police Department

Age: Unknown

Length of service: 6 years

Died: April 10, 1925

Hall was shot and killed when he and his partner attempted to stop a vehicle. As they pulled alongside the car, the occupants opened fire, fatally wounding him.

Harrison Brown

Wichita Police Department

Age: Unknown

Length of service: 2 years

Died: Jan. 4, 1925

Brown was shot and killed when he stopped to question a man while walking his beat. Brown was the first black officer with the Wichita Police Department to be killed in the line of duty.

Robert Scudder

Wichita Police Department

Age: Unknown

Length of service: Unknown

Died: Nov. 24, 1923

Scudder was shot after responding to a disturbance at a local dance hall. As he walked up the stairs, he encountered a man coming down. He began to search the man but was shot when the suspect pulled a gun.

Charles Galloway

Wichita Police Department

Age: 39

Length of service: 8 years

Died: July 15, 1923

Galloway died after contracting blood poisoning after cutting his foot. He and other members of the department were sandbagging flooded portions of the city.

Charles Hoffman

Wichita Police Department

Age: Unknown

Length of service: 4 years

Died: Nov. 23, 1921

Hoffman was shot and killed while attempting to arrest the leader of a gang responsible for the murders of two other officers earlier in the month. The suspect had attempted to rent a vehicle from a local shop, but the owner alerted police. As Hoffman entered the store, the man pulled a gun and Hoffman lunged forward and grabbed him. During a struggle the suspect shot Hoffman and wounded another officer. A third officer killed the suspect.

Robert Fitzpatrick

Wichita Police Department

Age: Unknown

Length of service: 2 years

Died: Nov. 21, 1921

Fitzpatrick was shot and killed while attempting to arrest members of a local gang who were responsible for the murder of Officer A.L. Young a few weeks earlier. As Fitzpatrick and his partner looked inside the vehicle, the leader of the gang sped off as one of the other gang members shot Fitzpatrick.

A.L. Young

Wichita Police Department

Age: unknown

Length of service: unknown

Died: Nov. 5, 1921

Young was shot and killed when he was ambushed while walking his beat. The suspect who murdered him was the leader of a local gang that went on to kill Patrolman Robert Fitzpatrick and Detective Charles Hoffman a few weeks later.

William Ballard

Wichita Police Department

Age: unknown

Length of service: 10 years

Died: July 20, 1920

Ballard was shot and killed as he and two other officers searched a suspect. Another suspect who was hiding behind a mattress opened fire, killing Ballard and wounding one of the other officers.

Capt. Frank Griswold

Wichita Police Department

Age: Unknown

Length of service: Unknown

Died: May 23, 1915

Griswold was shot and killed when he and a detective responded to a report of a burglary at a shoe store. As they entered the store, the suspects inside opened fire, killing Griswold and wounding the detective.

William Humphries

Wichita Police Department

Age: 40

Length of service: Unknown

Died: Feb. 23, 1915

Humphries was shot and killed while attempting to question a suspect in a local pool hall. When the man was cornered by Humphries, he pulled out a handgun and opened fire, fatally wounding the detective.

Carlos King

Sedgwick County Sheriff's office

Age: 28

Length of service: Unknown

Died: Sept. 23, 1871

King was shot and killed in what is now Harvey County by a suspect he had disarmed and thrown out of town for disturbing the peace. The suspect left, but returned after obtaining another gun. He found King and shot him to death. King is buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Newton.

Source: Eagle news archives

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