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Two Wyandotte County Sheriff's Deputies Dead After Shooting Near Courthouse

Wyandotte County Sheriff's Department
Wyandotte County Sheriff's Deputies Patrick Rohrer, 35, and Theresa King, 44, died from gunshot wounds after a shooting Friday morning outside the county courthouse annex.

Updated 12:30 p.m. Saturday, June 16.

Two Wyandotte County Sheriff's deputies died after being shot Friday behind the county courthouse by an inmate who was being transferred, police said. Patrick Rohrer, 35, and Theresa King, 44, both died at the University of Kansas Hospital.

Related: Slain Deputies Honored As Heroes At Ceremony In Kansas City, Kansas

The Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department is investigating the shooting, and said that the deputies were wearing body cameras and there were lots of cameras in the gated area behind the courthouse, where two detainees were being transferred back into a van. 

Wyandotte County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Kelli Bailiff said Friday that it was "very possible" the deputies were shot "with their own firearm." No charges had been filed as of midday Saturday.

Credit Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3
KCUR 89.3
Kansas City, Kansas, mayor David Alvey (left) and Wyandotte County Sheriff's Department spokesperson Kelli Bailiff (center) offered condolences at a Saturday morning news conference.

Kansas City, Kansas, Mayor David Alvey spoke Saturday morning, thanking a laundry list of law enforcement entities for their help in responding to the shooting, calling it “a heroic act,” as well as the staff of the University of Kansas Hospital. He also addressed the fact that there have been four officer shootings in Wyandotte County in three years.

“We gather here today with so many emotions coursing through our guts,” Alvey said, noting that some of those are “feelings of anger and revenge toward the assailant.”

The suspect was shot, injured and went through surgery at the hospital, according to Bailiff. The suspect's condition was unknown Saturday.

A candlelight vigil is scheduled for 8 p.m. Sunday in Kansas City, Kansas, for the deputies, who both were parents.

Rohrer had been with the sheriff's department for seven years, and King had 13 years of service.

“I will tell you these were two bright and intelligent, wonderful personalities. They were an asset to our agency," Bailiff said at a news conference Saturday. "They came to work every day with a smile, willing to help out, willing to do anything, and it's a tremendous, great loss.”

Witness John Garcia spoke with reporters midday Friday. He said he'd been there for a custody hearing and was outside of the courthouse when the gunshots rang out. 
"I went through a panic," he said.

Neither he nor Kansas City, Kansas, resident Jesse Ware saw the shooting happen. Ware was walking by, and in the hour or so afterward, when it wasn't clear what exactly had happened, said peace is needed.

“We’re trying to stop the violence down here, we’re trying to make it a better community,” Ware said. He added that he lives in the nearby Cross Lines Towers and that every time he goes outside, “there’s always an incident, there’s drug dealing, there’s people running up and down the streets around here. … It’s sad we got to walk out our front doors and see these types of things.”

KCUR reporter Sam Zeff contributed to this report.

Original post below:

Two Wyandotte County Sheriff's Deputies have been shot in Kansas City, Kansas. 

Kansas City, Kansas, police confirm the deputies were shot at the courthouse in downtown Kansas City, Kansas. A third person, the suspect, was also shot. 

All three people were taken to an area hospital. Their conditions are unknown.

Zach Blair, with the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department says they are not looking for any other suspects. 

The shooting occurred outside the courthouse annex, near the area where inmates are transported. The building is used for juvenile court, but Blair says it is unknown whether the suspect is a juvenile or an adult. 

Blair says KCKPD is assisting with the investigation. He says they will continue speaking with witnesses and review footage from the courthouse cameras.

Kansas City, Kansas, Police Chief Terry Ziegler tweeted at 11:30 a.m. Friday about a major incident in the 800 block of North 7th street. 

Andrea Tudhope is an award-winning multimedia journalist based in Kansas City, Missouri. She is currently coordinating producer for America Amplified, a national public media community engagement initiative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. 
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and award-winning podcasts.
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