Dramatic details surrounding the death of a Kansas police deputy have emerged, revealing that the fallen officer managed to take down his killer just before succumbing to his injuries.
Sedgwick County Deputy Robert Kunze III, 41, was responding to a call about a man acting suspiciously when he was gunned down Sunday. Now, however, investigators have found that Kunze’s heroic final actions likely saved two other lives.
Sheriff Jeff Easter explained how there were two witnesses to the scuffle that led to Kunze’s tragic death, as the officer attempted to apprehend the suspect. Despite being shot above his ballistic vest, the deputy reportedly rose to his feet and continued fighting the man, shooting him dead. He “gets up and fights,” Easter noted, according to the Kansas City Star. “That’s what I’m most proud of him — doing what he was trained to do.”
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“Without a doubt in my mind, he (Kunze) prevented loss of other life because of the two witnesses standing there” when the shots went off, Easter said. “They’re witnesses to him (the suspect) murdering a sheriff’s deputy. That puts them in harm.”
As heard in the dispatch audio, just before collapsing and falling unconscious, Kunze managed to fire a final shot which downed the criminal, 29-year-old Robert Greeson. Following several gunshots, Kunze can be heard laboring for breath, before straining out three devastating words: “I’ve been shot.”
A final gunshot can then be heard, which is likely to be Kunze killing the suspect.
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Greeson had an extensive criminal history, including a conviction for aggravated battery.
The witnesses, an adult and a teenager, “were in grave danger” at the scene, according to Easter, noting that “if you’re willing to kill a law enforcement officer …. (you’ll) take the life of anybody.”
“Robert was a great asset to the sheriff’s office,” Easter added, adding that the officer was “an exceptional deputy who was loved by everyone he worked with.”
“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.”
Easter said that investigators now know “exactly what happened” after reviewing evidence and any video footage taken by the officer’s dashcam. However, the Sheriff’s Office determined that it was currently not the right time to disclose the exact details regarding what transpired between Kunze and the suspect of that fateful night.