Kansas City, Kansas, police officer shot dead

A Kansas City, Kan. police captain was killed in a shooting on Tuesday.

A police captain was shot and killed Tuesday while responding to a drive-by shooting in Kansas City, Kansas, prompting members of law enforcement to lament that another one of their own had died violently.

Capt. Robert Melton was pronounced dead at a hospital as a manhunt for shooters continued, Mayor Mark Holland said in a statement.

Tuesday's fatal shooting comes just on the heels of three police officers being fatally shot in Baton Rouge, La., last Sunday, and five police officers in Dallas being shot fatally July 7.

"This is a very tense and volatile time in our community and our nation," Holland said in a statement. "It is important that we not jump to conclusions or speculate about this situation. Our police and city officials will share information as it becomes available. As we wait for that information, let us focus our thoughts and prayers on Capt. Melton’s family, our police department, and on the community."

The public initially became aware of the incident via social media.

Kansas City, Mo., police chief Terry Zeigler tweeted that an officer had been shot in the city. "Start prayers, unknown condition," he said.

We have an officer shot at 22nd & Haskell. Start prayers, unknown condition.

As word spread, the police department in neighboring Kansas City, Mo., tweeted, "Not again. Prayers started."

The Kansas City, Mo., agency later added, "Condolences just don't seem enough anymore. We mourn our ... brothers and sisters over the loss of another officer in the line of duty."

Terry Cunningham, president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and police chief in Wellesley, Mass., commented in a telephone interview Monday night that these are difficult times for police, who deal with daily stressors on the job but now are contending with heightened tensions with residents.

Deaths of officers in the line of duty have risen since the shooting deaths of New York City police officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, who died in Dec. 2014 by a man who went on to commit suicide.

By Melanie Eversley

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