WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay said the officer who was critically injured in a shootout on Saturday night remains in critical but stable condition. He said the good news is that the officer’s prognosis has improved.
“I want to thank everybody in the community, and actually, we have heard from people all over the world offering prayers and support for our officer,” he said.
Ramsay said the officer is highly respected and has been with the Wichita Police Department for five years. He says the officer was shot in the head and legs. Ramsay said the officer’s family and friends are at his side. They have asked that no personal information be released about the officer.
The shooting happened after two police officers were checking on the welfare of a woman and her daughter at a home in the 500 block of W. Carlyle in south Wichita around 10:15 p.m. Saturday.
Wichita Deputy Police Chief Jose Salcido said officers found the woman’s boyfriend, 28-year-old Tyler Hodge, hiding in a shed in the backyard with a rifle.
Police said Hodge ignored commands to put the gun down before he opened fire. One officer was struck several times. Police said Hodge fired 18 rounds total. Police returned fire, and Hodge was struck once. He died at the scene.
“We know now more than ever officers carry an accumulation of trauma with them throughout their career, and this was obviously one of those cases that is going to impact these officers for the rest of their career,” Ramsay said.
He said there were seven shootings in Wichita over the weekend with nine people injured.
“I really feel, and chiefs around the country are all saying the same thing, that something has happened societally that is causing people to immediately resort to solving conflict through the use of guns,” Ramsay said. “It is impacting not only our city but the rest of the country, and it is very concerning this trend.”
The community came together for a prayer vigil for the wounded officer on Monday evening at the Law Enforcement Memorial at Central and Main, outside Wichita City Hall.
“Restore his health, his strength to him, bless these men and women who go to and from,” the WPD Chaplain prayed.
Dozens gathered, including Chief Ramsay and Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple, to show their support for the injured police officer.
“Actually, we’ve heard from people all over the world offering prayers and support for our officer, and I want to thank everybody for their support,” Ramsay said.
“In support of our officer who is fighting for his life right now, less than 24 hours this went out, a call for a prayer vigil, and we just have tons of people here,” Whipple said.
The vigil ended with the crowd reciting the Lord’s Prayer: “Shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
To help the officer, donate to the Honore Adversis Foundation.