On Sept. 16, Officer Robert Kunze with the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office was killed in the line of duty. Having worked as a deputy for 12 years, Kunze was responding to an incident when he was fatally wounded.
He was wearing a protective vest, but the suspect he was dealing with shot just above it. Before he died, Kunze managed to return fire, killing his assailant.
“Tragedy has struck the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office,” Sheriff Jeff Easter said, according to The Wichita Eagle. “A family member of ours has been killed in the line of duty.”
The suspect was later identified as 29-year-old Robert Greeson, who’d had run-ins with the law before and had recently stolen a truck and a gun. Some people called in on him, reporting suspicious behavior, and Kunze went to the scene.
At 1:42 p.m. Kunze arrived, and by the time a second deputy arrived just seven minutes later, the shooting had already taken place. Apparently the officer had approached Greeson, patted him down, found and removed a weapon from him, and then got into an altercation with the man as he tried to handcuff him.
The witnesses had stayed nearby, and if Greeson had managed to take down the deputy and not been stopped, he could have easily turned on them.
“Without a doubt in my mind, (Kunze) prevented loss of other life because of the two witnesses standing there” Easter later told The Wichita Eagle. “They’re witnesses to (the suspect) murdering a sheriff’s deputy. That puts them in harm.”
“He worked with great pride, loved and encouraged the people who worked with him, but most of all he loved his family,” Easter continued.
“We will always remember him for his smile, his contagious laugh and his ability to engage anyone and everyone in a conversation,” he continued. “Deputy Kunze will be absolutely missed, and we ask for you to please pray for him and his family. The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office has suffered a great loss today, and a life-altering tragedy for Deputy Kunze’s family.”
Now, several months later, other members of the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office have found a way to support his daughter the way they would their own. This season has been unusually cold, but rain or shine, it’s Girl Scout Cookie time.
While many parents will tote their kids’ wares to work and set up some sort of display, Kunze’s daughter was missing half her support team. On the girl’s first sales trip since her father passed away, the sheriff’s office saw their chance. They decided to take care of things when she visited to see if anyone would like to buy some cookies.
They bought thousands of dollars’ worth of sweet treats. The office ended up purchasing 660 boxes of the infamous cookies, hopefully giving her a leg up in the program.
“We just kinda wanted to help her in any way we can,” deputies told KWCH 12, “she’s a special girl.”
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