The community is responding and showing its support after the death of a Kansas City, Kansas, police captain.
Capt. Robert David Melton, who was known to friends as Dave, was shot and killed Tuesday afternoon.
Community supports KCK police officers
A Cup on the Hill, a coffee shop in Kansas City, Kansas, is showing support for the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department.
— Alyson Bruner (@AlysonBruner) July 20, 2016
Vigil held for Capt. Melton
Hundreds of people stood in front of the city hall in KCK to grieve the loss of Melton on Wednesday night.
Through song and prayer, a heartbroken community came together to honor a police officer who should still be alive.
Hundreds of people stood in front of the city hall in KCK to grieve the loss of Captain Dave Melton Wednesday night. Through song and prayer, a heartbroken community came together to honor a police officer who should still be alive.
— Lexi Sutter (@LexiSutterTV) July 21, 2016
“It’s really hard. it’s tough. I mean I we were just here a few months ago for Detective Lancaster, and it’s sad," said Nina Ziegler, the wife of a Wyandotte County sheriff's deputy. "It’s gotta stop, it’s gotta stop.”
Ziegler said she is more scared than ever for police officers.
“I hate for my husband to leave in the morning, because I don’t know, you never know if they are gonna come back home," she said. "And I pray to God every day that when he does walk out the door that he will come back home to me.”
Melton was described by his brothers a a hard worker and someone who always had their back.
"He was a guy you went to when the chips were down. He always pitched in and helped out, as he did on the day, the day he was shot," said KCK Police Chief Terry Zeigler.
The next few days, weeks and months will not be easy for the KCK community. But people promised one another Wednesday evening that they will overcome such darkness.
"Keep this family, this department, and this community, in your prayers," said KCK Police Department Chaplain George Kemper.
Memorial where Melton was shot
On Wednesday the neighborhood near 22nd and Haskell in Kansas City, Kansas, looks just like any other, but just 24 hours ago, it was a different story entirely; one that ended in tragedy.
“We have a family and a church family,” said Wayne Goodall, a KCK resident. “We know [with] policing, that's their family. They lost a brother yesterday. Someone lost a father and a son, so we want to say we are sorry and how much we do care.”
Homemade signs and a wreath adorned with "hero" make up this small memorial dedicated to the life and death of Melton.
The community shows its support of the fallen officer with a small memorial.
“I thought I would come out to pay my respects,” said Charles Gardener, who lives near the memorial. “I never knew the guy or anything, but respect policing and respect what they do for the community.”
They're small gestures from strangers for a man they said didn't only dedicate his life to service, he also gave it to protect and serve the community.
“RIP. Tears for all. Capt. Robert David Melton. God be with [your] family,” Aren Goodall read from the poster he made. “We are sorry for your loss.”
Memorial at KCK Police Department
One man from Missouri came to a makeshift memorial outside KCK police headquarters and was very distraught about what happened.
"Now that officer lost his life. He has family members this morning who are hurting. Put yourself in that situation. It's a sad situation," said Marvin Cawthon, whose two sons are police officers.
He said it hits close to home and that Melton was just doing his job. Cawthon said people should not be killing each other or police officers. "We need to stop. We need to come together, towards each other, help one another," said Cawthon.
Ribbons hung in neighborhood for fallen officers
Kansas and Missouri have continually showed support for police officers. It usually just becomes a bit more obvious when officers die, like Melton, the officers in Baton Rouge and Dallas, and Detective Brad Lancaster.
These little gestures come through social media, ribbons, and for Terry O’ Leary, it’s tape.
“There seems to be a shortage of blue ribbons in this town,” O’Leary said.
O’Leary has challenged her neighbors to put up 300 ribbons in her neighborhood. After the death of Melton, she admits to driving around her neighborhood angry, but decided to turn her anger into a positive thing when she came up with the idea.
“We have officers that live in the area so to us they are more than police officers, they are our friends and neighbors and we want to show them support,” she said.
O’Leary works at Kansas Speedway, so she interacts with local law enforcement often. For her, supporting officers is like supporting a close friend or family member.
She plans on putting up the blue and black tape on every street sign in her neighborhood and won’t go to sleep
until she reaches her goal.
Donations pour in to support family of Dave Melton
If you would like to make donations to the Melton family, you can make them at the following locations:
Price Chopper will collect donations to help support Melton's family. All 52 area locations are accepting donations through July 27.
The Greater KC Public Safety Credit Union
- Main Branch: 2800 East 14th Street, Kansas City, MO 64127
- North Branch: 8320 North Brighton, Kansas City, MO 64119
- East Branch: 19341 East US 40 Highway, Suite A, Independence, MO 64055
- South Branch: 9701 Marion Park Drive, Kansas City, MO 64137
The Kansas City, Kansas Police Department
700 Minnesota Ave.
Kansas City, KS 66101
Attention: Chief’s Office
Please make all checks payable to: Captain Robert Melton Memorial Fund
Funeral arrangements for Captain Dave Melton
- Friday July 22, 2016 - Visitation at the Jack Reardon Civic Center, located at 520 Minnesota Avenue in Kansas City, Kansas, from 4-7 p.m.
- Saturday July 23, 2016 - Funeral will be held at Children's Mercy Park at 9 a.m. Parking will be available at the Speedway.
- Kansas City, Kansas police captain Dave Melton dies after shooting
- Community responds after KCK police captain Dave Melton shot, killed
- - Includes information on service arrangements, how to make a donation to support the family and memorials across town.
- Details on the men accused of killing Kansas City, Kansas Police Captain Dave Melton
- Kansas City, Kansas Police Captain Dave Melton's history of service
- SAFE giving 'stop-gap' funding to Melton family