The Wichita Eagle
The officer critically injured in a shootout late Saturday night remains hospitalized, Wichita police said Monday. While his condition has gotten better, it is unknown whether he will ever fully recover.
“The officer is still in critical condition, but stable, and I am pleased to say his prognosis has improved,” Police Chief Gordon Ramsay said.
The officer was shot in the legs and in the head, Ramsay said. The weapon “was an AR-15 style assault rifle,” said Capt. Jason Stephens.
“So we are talking about some serious injuries that are going to take some time to recover from,” Ramsay said. “We don’t know how long that will be … if ever he fully recovers.”
The officer is a five-year veteran of the department. Police are withholding additional information about the officer at the request of the family.
The Honore Adversis Foundation, with the family’s blessing and permission, is accepting donations on behalf of the officer injured in the line of duty. Donations can be made online at www.honorduringadversity.org.
“I want to thank everybody; the support has been overwhelming for our officers,” Ramsay said. “This has been really a traumatic event for everybody involved, obviously not just the officer who was shot but the officers who were with him and really those who worked to save his life.”
“We know now more than ever that officers carry an accumulation of trauma with them throughout their career. This was obviously one of those cases that is going to impact these officers the rest of their careers. We also know this impacted the entire neighborhood. I just spoke with a neighbor who was traumatized by what had occurred. This has impacted our whole community. This is an example of what our officers deal with every day.”
A prayer vigil was scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday at the law enforcement memorial at City Hall at the corner of Central and Main.
Ramsay referred to the shooting as an “evil, desperate situation.”
The shooting happened late Saturday night in south Wichita. Police have said that officers responded to a welfare check call around 10:15 p.m. in the 500 block of West Carlyle, regarding a possible domestic violence situation.
The woman at the home told officer that she thought her boyfriend had left after their fight, but officers found him hiding in a backyard shed.
Body camera video released by police showed a man wearing a yellow cutoff T-shirt and shorts, holding a semi-automatic rifle. An officer twice commanded the man to “put the gun down,” but instead he started shooting.
Officials have said that Tyler Hodge fired a total of 18 bullets at officers before he was shot and killed by police.
“Our best police officers have been deescalating for decades,” Ramsay said. “What we want is we want our officers to be safe, and we want them to be able to go home at night. But the reality is that this is a dangerous world. People will sometimes talk about an officer saying ‘put your hands up’ or ‘stand over there’ and being direct with them. A lot of this is about their safety, and what people sometimes forget is there are people, like this incident this weekend, that want to kill a police officer.
“That is something that is always in the back of our officers’ minds. What we have to do is balance that individual that wants to kill a police officer, but yet still remain a part of the community and engage. Because we know that when we have close relationships with our community, our cops are safer, because people provide more information, they help our officers when we’re in need and that’s why it’s important for the community to support our police officers during times like this. Our officers need to know the community supports them.”
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