WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Officer Kyle Mellard remembers he was trying to hang on after being shot in both legs and the face on June 19, 2021, in south Wichita.

“You know I have to be there for them, to be a dad for them,” said officer Mellard. “They’re my world. I have to be there for them.”

Mellard was in south Wichita after he responded to the call of shots fired at officers. One of those officers also happened to be his sister.

“Yelling for help that there was shots fired,” recalls Mellard.

When he got to the scene, he rounded the corner where officers thought the suspect was located.

“And looked up toward the back yard that’s when I saw the suspect. Some kind of a rifle pointed at me, and I heard the gunshot and got shot in my left leg,” remembers Mellard. “And I jumped back and yelled out to the other officers on scene there, that I was in contact with the guy. “And then I exchanged gunfire with him and ended up getting shot in my right leg and broke both the bones in my right leg, which caused me to fall to the ground.

As Mellard was falling to the ground, he also got shot in the face. Other officers managed to drag him to safety. The suspect ended up being shot and killed.

While he calls the whole situation traumatic, he now is humbled by the community. Mellard threw out the first pitch at the Wind Surge season opening on Friday.

“I’ve been practicing some pitches,” Mellard said. “Kind of threw my arm out. Just hope it’s a good pitch.”

The fact Mellard is able to be at the opening game, some say, is a small miracle.

Mellard says he’s not a hero. He says the officers that dragged him to safety are the heroes.

And he is humbled.

“The community support has been outstanding. Almost at times overwhelming, you know, in a good way,” Mellard said. “Because I never imagined the community would be so supportive, you know, of a police officer.

“Especially in a time of need like that with them not knowing me, and I’m not anyone special, you know. I’m not the face of the department or anything. I’m just a regular police officer. But the support has been incredible.”

Mellard did not talk about the suspect. He has decided to focus on the future.

“I love this job,” said Mellard. “I’m almost all 100% back, just almost, but I’m on the tail end of everything. Waiting on getting my teeth back and building muscle back.”

“I want to go back because I don’t want to let that guy take my career away from me,” he said. “Because I love being a police officer. That’s what I felt like I’m meant to do in this life, and I don’t want to let someone else to be able to take that from me.

“If I am going to leave the profession, I want it to be on my terms, you know, and it’s a calling for me. Like I said, I feel like it’s what I was put on this earth to do.”