KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Uniformed officers from across the nation gathered Thursday to remember two Kansas sheriff’s deputies who were shot and killed by an inmate while transporting him between the courthouse and jail.
Wyandotte County Sheriff Don Ash said Thursday during a joint service for Theresa King and Patrick Rohrer at a soccer stadium in Kansas City, Kansas, that they “literally put their lives between a cold-blooded killer and the citizens they swore an oath to protect,” The Kansas City Star reports.
Authorities said an inmate apparently overpowered the deputies last Friday in a gated area behind the courthouse and shot them, possibly with one of their own guns. Rohrer, who was 35 and was the father of two, died shortly after the shooting. King, who was 44 and a mother of three, died the next day. The suspect also was shot.
One of King’s children, Bailey, talked about her hard-working mother.
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“Mom, this feels like a bad dream and I want to wake up,” Bailey said. “Everything you did, you did for us and I know being a single mom wasn’t easy. I know working 80 hours a week wasn’t ideal . . . but you did what needed to be done to make sure we were taken care of.”
King was supposed to be assigned to a school attended by another of her children as a resource officer in the fall.
Some mourners showed up in costume, including Star Wars characters, princesses and superheroes. Ron Coleman, who dressed as a Ghostbuster, said Rohrer participated in 17 of the last 19 Kansas City Comic Con conventions. He said Rohrer volunteered at Children’s Mercy Hospital dressed as Superman.
Maritza Gordillo, 27, who works as a protection order advocate at the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department, described King as “assertive but also kind” and Rohrer as a kindhearted “jokester-geek.”