Died in the Line of Duty


Policeman Hit, Killed in Wichita

A 29 year old police officer responding to a disturbance call was struck and killed by a motorist in northeast Wichita late Tuesday night police said.

Officer Danny Laffey was pronounced dead on arrival at Wesley Medical Center said Capt. Lyndon Potter, Laffey's wife, pregnant with their first child, was called to the hospital and told of his death.

Witnesses told police the patrolman, a three year veteran of the force was standing in the street near a parked car when he was struck from behind by a passing motorist.

Police said the auto then went out of control, dragging the officer more than 50 feet as it careened through a parking lot of the Zanzibar Club, finally coming to rest against the club building.

Two men were taken into custody for questioning after the accident which occurred about 11:20 p.m., Potter said. Another man injured in the incident who police refused to identify was being treated at the medical center early Wednesday. (El Dorado Times, Wednesday, January 6, 1982)


Slain Officer Well Known in County

A veteran Sedgwick County sheriff's narcotics detective shot and killed Tuesday night during a drug raid in northeast Wichita was well known to Butler County Law Enforcement officials.

Sheriff Mike Hill identified the dead officer as Terry McNett, 36. He said McNett was permanently assigned to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration task force that also includes Wichita officers.

McNett had been a sheriff's deputy since June 18, 1979. He spent most of his career in narcotics investigations, Hill said. Previously McNett was a Haysville police lieutenant.

Butler County Sheriff Dave Williams said this morning McNett was the partner of a Butler County sheriff's officer who formerly served on the task force. McNett also worked undercover to help solve some Butler County burglaries and was involved in task force investigations which included Butler County, Williams said.

Hill said McNett was one of several officers who served a search warrant Tuesday night at a house where an undercover drug buy had been made earlier.

McNett was searching the kitchen when a 49 year old drug suspect allegedly fired a handgun at McNett from a hiding place beside a refrigerator, Hill said. One shot struck McNett in the right eye. Officers heard two shots, but still were trying to determine if McNett fired his gun, the sheriff said.

The suspect also fired at Sheriff's Sgt. Danny Bardezbain, but missed, Hill said.

Sheriff's Officer Terry Parham fired at the suspect, striking him once in each thigh, Hill said. The man was in fair condition at St. Francis Regional Medical Center.

McNett was mourned by his wife, Cindy; a son, Vince 13 and a daughter, Mindy 10.

He was the first sheriff's officer killed in the line of duty in more than 13 years. (El Dorado Times, Wednesday, February 3, 1988)


Plice Chief Injured in Chase

Oxford, Kan. - Oxford Police Chief John Teeter was in critical condition Monday from injuries suffered trying to help Winfield police apprehend a man driving a stolen minivan.

Teeter was flown to Wesley Medical Center after rolling his car early Sunday morning while pursuing the stolen van.

The man driving the van eluded Winfield and Oxford police, but was captured later Sunday morning by Sumner County sheriff's officers. He was in custody in the Cowley County Jail.

Teeter has been police chief only since March. He joined the department in November 1992.

A Winfield police officer drove into a tree during the same chase but wasn't injured, officials said. (El Dorado Times, Tuesday, April 4, 1995)
Chase Accident Proves Fatal to Oxford Police Chief

Oxford, Kan - The police chief in this south central Kansas town died over the weekend of injuries received when he lost control of his patrol vehicle while pursuing a suspect earlier this month.

John Teter, 27, died Sunday. He never regained consciousness following the accident about 5 a.m. on April 2 when his Ford Explorer ran off the road and rolled, throwing him out of the vehicle.

Teter joined the Oxford Police Department as a patrolman in November 1992. He was named acting police chief on Feb. 15, 1995 and was appointed chief on March 7.

Officers later arrested the suspect who was wanted in Sedgwick County on charges of robbery and kidnapping.

Teter is survived by his wife Kati and their 3 year old daughter Audrey. (El Dordo Times, Monday, April 10, 1995)


Roadblocks Thrown up to Capture Fuguitive

Leoti, Kan. - The police chief of this small western Kansas community was shot and killed Tuesday night during the arrest of a man sought as a parole violator, authorities said.

The Wichita County sheriff's office said Police Chief Carl Simmons, 33, had stopped the man in a car near Leoti and handcuffed him before the shooting occurred. Details of the shooting were not immediately learned.

Authorities issued a first degree murder warrant for Richard McCowan, 31, who was arrested within a couple of hours in nearby Kiowa County, Colo. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation was to return him to Kansas today.

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation said a service revolver believed to be the police chief's was discovered in McCowan's car.

A spokesman for the sheriff's officer said a pickup order had been issued earlier for McCowan, who reportedly had violated terms of his parole by going to California. He said the pickup was requested by McCowan's parole officer.

In Topeka, KBI Director William Albott said one of his agents had gone to Eads, Colo., where McCowan was being held and another agent went to Garden City where Simons body was taken for an autopsy.

It appears he was killed trying to serve a warrant, Albott said.

The KBI director confirmed Simons was shot with a handgun not a high powered rifle as first suspected.

Albott said Simons was an undersheriff of Wichita County and actually was employed as marshal of Leoti in addition to working for the sheriff's department. (El Dorado Times, Wednesday, May 26, 1976, page 9, section B)


Several shot by prisoner in Wichita

Three or four people were shot today by a county jail prisoner who grabbed a detective's gun and ran from the Sedgwick County courthouse police reported.

One of the persons wounded was identified as a Sheriff's deputy who was reported shot in the head.

The conditions of the shooting victims were not immediately known.

The man being held on aggravated robbery and kidnapping charges apparently was shot and wounded as he fired from the courthouse, police said.

Authorities said he apparently got away in a pickup truck and later commandeered two cars in the city at gunpoint. A Wichita woman reported to police that the man showed up her home with bloody clothes and she was forced to give him a clean pair of trousers. (El Dorado Times, Thursday, October 31, 1974)

Wichita residents in his flight

Sedgwick county authorities filed 27 charges today against Fred L. Keeling, 30, including first dregree murder in connection with the bloody shooting escape Thursday at the county jail.

One sheriff's detective was killed in the shooting and two other officers were still in critical condition today with gunshot wounds. A fourth officer was reported in good condition.

Keeling was arraigned on the charges in Sedgwick County Court of Common Pleas and ordered held without bond pending further court action.

In addition to the murder charge, Keeling was charged with eight counts of kidnapping and 18 other charges ranging from aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer to unlawful possession of a firearm.

Killed in the gunfire Thursday was sheriff's Det. Vance Johnson, 43.

In critical condition at a Wichita hospital were Police Det. Lloyd Simmons, 41, who suffered gunshot wounds to the lower abdomen and head, and Mauro Bott, 43, a sheriff's civil service employee who was shot twice in the chest.

Reported in good condition was sheriff's officer Lewis Patterson, 36, who was shot once in the right arm.

Keeling was being returned to the county jail by Simmons just before noon Thursday following interrogation on armed robbery charges said Sheriff Johnnie Darr.

Keeling broke away from the officer and fled down a stair way while Simmons pursued him, Darr said. The two wrestled briefly in a ground floor hallway and Keeling grabbed the officer's revolver and started shooting, Darr said.

Two other detectives heard the shots and went down to see what was happening, Darr said. They ran right into it.

Keeling commandeered three vehicles in his flight, stopped once to enter a home and force a housewife to give him clean trousers in exchange for his blood spattered pants.

Then he crashed into the home of Mr. and Mrs. Ray J. Bosley.

I was sitting on the couch watching television and my wife came out of the kitchen to tell me something, said Bosley, 71. The next thing I knew somebody busted in the door and had a gun on me.

He said he'd kill me and my wife if I said anything to the police. Then he had me go out and sit on the porch like nothing was happening.

While Bosley sat on the more, than 100 officers combed the neighborhood and some entered the Bosley home.

Bosley said they (police) came in and out. He (Keeling) was hiding in the attic and the back bedroom and he kept my wife with him allthe time.

Finally, police Sgt. Jerry Skelton entered the home to use the telephone and came face to face with Keeling. Both jumped back and began shooting, Bosley said. Then Keeling said he would surrender and dropped his gun.

I've never been so scared in my life, said Bosley. I didn't know what to do. I couldn't tell the police or he'd kill me and my wife. (El Dorado Times, Friday, November 1, 1974)


Ex Ottawa Law officer is Killed

Gerald A. Foote, a former captain in the Ottawa Fire Department and former Ottawa Police Department patrolman, was killed early this morning in a two-car collision on I-35 in Johnson County.

Injured in the mishap was another former Ottawa law enforcement official, Herbert Hogue, who was a passenger in the car Foote was driving. Hogue suffered minor injuries and is in Olathe Community Hospital.

The driver of the other car was not injured. The accident took place at 119th Street and I-35.

Foote, 32, lived in Gardner. He was a detective in the Johnson County Sheriff's Department. Hogue is an Olathe patrolman.

Foote joined the Ottawa Fire Department in 1963, attaining the rank of captain until transferring to the Police Department in 1966. He was a patrolman for two years before going to Johnson County. (The Ottawa Herald, Saturday, April 3, 1971)


Talking in Sleep Leads to Arrest

Police Claim Robber Band of Southwest Caught in Meshes

Dozen are in Custody

Among the Prisoners Held, at Wichita, Kan., Are Several Women

Wichita, Kan., Nov. 23 - With more than a dozen persons in custody police tonight believed they had gone a long way towards breaking up a gang of train and bank robbers which had been operating in the Southwest for several weeks under the leadership of Edward Adams who was shot and killed here yesterday by detectives.

Several of those under detention are women and two or three of the men are supposed to know something about the killing of two policemen early this week and the wounding of others. Two detectives were wounded during the fight in which Adams was killed.

What authorities regard as one of the most important captures came early today when George J. (Chubb) McFarland was picked up a railroad station near Winfield, Kan. McFarland, according to the police was recognized when he fled in a motor car from the spot where Robert Fitzpatrick a policeman was killed in a gun fight with several men.

Talks in His Sleep

McFarland's capture was due to the fact that he talked in his sleep. He was waiting in the railroad station at Akron, Kan., for a train to Gordon a small town in Butler County. He dozed off and according to the station agent began saying he wished he had never joined the gang. The agent's suspicions were aroused and he notified the authorities, who arrested McFarland and brought him here late today.

Two other prisoners regarded by the police as important are William Fentlemen and Jack Jones. Fentlemen also known as William Sheppard has been in jail since Monday night in connection with the shooting of Fitzpatrick. Jones who was with Adams yesterday when the latter was killed was arrested about an hour after the shooting.

Arrested in Texas

Fentlemen according to the authorities was a member of the Major band which operated in Missouri and Kansas last winter and which finally was broken up. The police say he was arrested in Fort Worth, Tex., Jan. 16, 1920 with Dudley Major , OK a charge of having in their possessions goods stolen from a Wichita store. While in the Fort Worth jail Fentlemen sprang a surprise on the authorities by marrying Miss Ina Sheppard who was chief witness for the state. Under the law she was excused from testifying against her husband.

The police tonight had reports from Kansas City postal inspectors saying that photographs of Adams had been identified by persons living at Ottawa, Kan., as those of a man seen in the vicinity shortly after an Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe mail car had been held up and robbed Nov. 5.

A check up of the contents of Adams pockets after he had been killed revealed, police said tonight that he had more than one hundred cartridges. He also carried, they said, a large bunch of motor car keys and six master keys. (The Galveston Daily News, Thursday, November 24, 1921)

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