Wichita, KS – Two rookie Wichita police officers were shot on Christmas morning by a domestic violence suspect who was on parole for attempted murder and aggravated assault.
The incident began at about 10:40 p.m. on Dec. 24 after a mother called police and said her daughter had been battered by her boyfriend, 24-year-old, Malik S.L. Rogers, The Wichita Eagle reported.
Police went to the restaurant where the victim worked in the 4800-block of South Washington to take the report.
Wichita Police Captain Jason Stephens said the victim told police that Rogers had showed up at her home uninvited and tried to break in through a window, The Wichita Eagle reported.
Capt. Stephens said that attempt failed “but [Rogers] then gained entrance into the house by being let in essentially by a 3-year-old child who was inside the house.”
“Once inside, he confronted her and pointed a handgun at her, essentially assaulting her with that gun,” the captain said.
The victim also told police that Rogers had punched her in the face, The Wichita Eagle reported.
Capt. Stephens said she told police it was the second time she had been attacked by Rogers that week.
The first incident occurred on Thursday when Rogers “grabbed her by the neck and physically assaulted her,” The Wichita Eagle reported.
Rogers was on parole from 2017 convictions for attempted second-degree murder and aggravated assault when he attacked the woman, according to police.
After taking the report, officers went to arrest Rogers on felony domestic violence charges at his residence in the 2600-block of South Emporia, The Wichita Eagle reported.
Initially, the officers – both of whom were rookies with less than a year on the police department – attempted to talk to Rogers to get him to voluntarily submit to an arrest, according to Capt. Stephens.
The captain said the officers eventually tried to arrest Rogers but were unable to get handcuffs on him “due to a size disparity. He’s much larger than both of the officers,” The Wichita Eagle reported.
Capt. Stephens said both officers deployed Tasers at Rogers but he fled and escaped into a bathroom.
He said the officers followed Rogers and one of them managed for force the door open, The Wichita Eagle reported.
The minute the bathroom door opened, Rogers pointed a gun at the officers and opened fire, according to Capt. Stephens.
One officer was shot in the upper right leg and the other officer was shot in the right arm, The Wichita Eagle reported.
Wichita police released a picture from an officer’s bodycam that showed the moment Rogers pointed his gun at police.
Capt. Stephens said the wounded officers were able to retreat and stop other officers who were entering the home behind them before the suspect was able to shoot at them, too.
The SWAT team and crisis negotiators took over the scene and tried for more than an hour to communicate with Rogers as officers evacuated the rest of the residents from the apartment building, The Wichita Eagle reported.
Capt. Stephens said that at some point, police heard a gunshot from inside the apartment so they ultimately deployed a robot with a camera to see what was going on inside.
The camera showed that Rogers was unresponsive at that point so officers made entry to the residence and confirmed the gunman had died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to the captain.
Capt. Stephens said the wounded officers were transported to a nearby hospital for treatment and taken into surgery, The Wichita Eagle reported.
Both heroes were expected to survive their wounds.
“Please pray for them and their families as we deal with this terrible incident on Christmas day,” Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay posted to the department’s official Facebook page. “This tragic incident highlights the dangers police officers face as they work to keep our community safe.”